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MUNGO PARK SEEING THE MOSS IN THE DESERT. 



Page jo. 



A 8. £fzM/yia/H& A 

Story of the Niger 




Ruins of the Cottage at Fowhhiels, near Selkirk, 
in which Mungo Park was born. 



Gbomas IRelson ano Sons, 

LONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK. 



STORY OF THE NIGER 



A Record of Travel and Adventure 

From the Days of Mnngo Park 

To the Present Time. 



IRobert 1Ricbarfcson t 

Author of " Adventurous Boat Voyages," "Almost a Hero, 

" Ralph's Year in Russia," 

etc etc. 



With 31 Illustrations 



Jjkottbon: 

T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW. 

EDINBURGH ; AND NEW YORK. 



LOAN STACK 



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'r3££Q 



DT^7 
R53-/ 

IV\MaJ 



preface. 



This Story of the Niger is a rapid summary of 
facts. The material upon which the narrative is 
based is found scattered over many bulky volumes, 
such as few readers would have either the leisure or 
the inclination to attack. But it has been thought 
that, from the intrinsic interest of the story, a brief 
continuous narrative might prove acceptable to all 
who love a tale of travel and adventure. The story 
in these pages is essentially that told by the actors 
in the drama themselves, and is such as demanded no 
decoration at second hand. What has been aimed at 
was simply to collect all that was most striking and 
interesting, most pathetic or most humorous, and to 
weld the whole together in a consecutive and trust- 
worthy narrative. 

Attention may be called specially to the Sketch 



570 



vin PREFACE. 

Map of the Basins of the Senegal and Niger, showing 
Mungo Park's intended route on his second expedi- 
tion to Central Africa, which is here reproduced in 
facsimile from the original drawing made by the 
traveller, and presented by him to his niece, Miss 
Jane Park. R R 



dgToittntts. 



I. AFRICAN DISCOVERY PREVIOUS TO PARK, ... 
II. park's FIRST JOURNEY, ... 

III. park's second journey, 

IV. clapperton and the landers, ... 

V. EXPLORATION OF THE NIGER AND BENUEH, 
VI. CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION TO THE UPPER NIGER, 
VII. DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS, ... 
VIII. MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER, 



15 
22 
78 
92 
129 
154 
267 
326 



^Mist of ^lustrations. 



MUNGO PARK SEEING THE MOSS IN THE DESERT, . . . . Frontispiece 

RUINS OP THE COTTAGE AT FOWLSHIELS, NEAR SELKIRK, IN WHICH 

mungo park was born, . . . . . . . . Vignette 

MAP OF CENTRAL AFRICA, SHOWING THE BASIN OF THE NIGER AND 

ADJACENT COUNTRIES, . . . . . . . . . . Xiv 

MAP OF PARK'S TRAVELS IN AFRICA, WITH THE COURSE OF THE NIGER, 23 

MUNGO PARK'S FIRST SIGHT OF THE NIGER, .. .. 43 

TOWN HOUSE OF THE SOMONOS OF SEGO, ON THE NIGER, .. .. 47 

THE NEGRO SONG, . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 

A LION IN THE WAY, . . . . . . . . 59 

MEAT-MARKET AT YAMINA, ON THE NIGER, . . . . . . . . 63 

BAMBOO BRIDGE ACROSS THE BAFING, . . . . . . . . 75 

FACSIMILE OF SKETCH MAP OF MUNGO PARK'S INTENDED ROUTE IN HIS 

second expedition to the nioer. — From a Drawing by himself, . . 87 

river scene in western africa, . . . . . . . . 107 

king obie's visit to the "alburkah," .. .. .. 123 

french expedition against the toucouleurs, .. .. .. 159 

gallieni's expedition on the senegal between matam and bakel, 165 

fire on the left bank of the bakhoy, near demba-dioube, . . 179 

village of solinta, on the bakhoy, . . . . . . . . 183 

forest near the bily falls, on the bakhoy, . . . . . . 191 

the refractory ass-drivers, . . . . . . . . . . 195 

improvised bridge over the kegneko, .. .. .. 201 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



REVIEW ON THE PLAINS OP KITA TO CELEBRATE THE TREATY OF PRO- 
TECTORATE WITH FRANCE, 
CROSSING THE BANDINGHO, 
RETREAT OF GALLIENl's EXPEDITION FROJ 
TORNADO IN THE BIRGO COUNTRY, 
MARKET AT SOKOTO, 
SONGHAY VILLAGE, 
TIMBUCTOO, 

ENCAMPMENT OF SHEIK BL BAKAY, 
A NUPE VILLAGE, 

FILLANI NOBLEMAN AND ATTENDANTS, 
VIEW IN SOKOTO, 





211 


DIO, 


219 




231 




275 




283 




301 




307 




339 




343 




347 



STORY OF THE NIGER, 



CHAPTER I. 

AFRICAN DISCOVERY PREVIOUS TO PARK. 

From very early times down to the present day 
Africa has exercised a fascination for the traveller : 
no weaker word will so well serve to express the 
truth. At this moment no other land seems to pos- 
sess such a spell for the discoverer — not even the 
regions of the North Pole. The two geographical 
secrets which our modern explorers, land and mari- 
time, most covet, are probably the discovery of the 
remaining sources of the Nile and the discovery of 
the North Pole. 

To the ancients, Africa was a land of mystery and 
marvel ; and though every year now sees some new 
region in its vast territory opened up and reclaimed 
from darkness, it is to a large extent a land of mys- 
tery and marvel still. It still offers to the explorer 
an unrivalled field for discovery and adventure. 



16 AFRICAN DISCOVERY PREVIOUS TO PARK. 

The nations of antiquity were, however, perfectly 
well acquainted with the northern portions of Africa — 
those bordering on the Mediterranean Sea, and in- 
cluding Carthage and Egypt. It was in respect to 
the regions beyond this circuit that their knowledge 
was vague and conflicting. South of the countries 
skirting the sea-board extended the immeasurable tract 
of desert now known as the Great Sahara, whose vast- 
ness and appalling desolation were for long sufficient 
to daunt the most adventurous spirits, checking the 
advance alike of the conqueror and the traveller. 

The interest attached to early African discovery 
may be said to centre in the river Niger. When the 
attention of modern European nations began to be 
turned towards Africa as a land offering rich oppor- 
tunities for the acquisition of territory, and the in- 
crease of national wealth and power, it was quickly 
seen that the Niger formed the natural highway to 
the heart of the country ; and to hold the secret of 
the mighty river, to trace and follow its course 
throughout its whole vast extent, became the chief 
object of ambition among the discoverers of many dif- 
ferent lands. 

Among the earliest historical references — probably 
the earliest reference — to what modern geographers 
have supposed to be the Niger, is to be found in an 
account given by Herodotus of a journey made by 
five young Nasamones of noble birth and ardent spirit, 



AFRICAN DISCOVERY PREVIOUS TO PARK. 17 

who may be regarded as having formed the first Geo- 
graphical Association. After a long and adventurous 
journey, the travellers came upon a great river flow- 
ing from west to east, on whose banks dwelt a nation 
of small black men. This river Herodotus without 
hesitation declared to be the Nile. That it was not 
the Nile is certain ; and even that it was the Niger 
is a disputed point among those who have most closely 
considered the question. It has been contended by 
some writers that the young Nasamones, by following 
the course described by their historian, could never 
have reached the Quorra or Niger ; while others main- 
tain that such a goal to their journey was quite pos- 
sible, and that the city which the travellers found on 
the banks of the river, peopled by a diminutive race of 
black men, was no other than Timbuctoo. 

Mention is made of the Niger by both Strabo and 
Pliny, the former briefly, the latter at great length. 
Pliny adopts the idea of Herodotus that the Niger was 
one and the same river with the Nile ; but when 
Ptolemy comes to treat the subject he directly con- 
troverts this theory, though, from lack of accurate 
knowledge, he offers nothing in its place save vague 
surmise. 

We learn a good deal of the geography of Africa 
from Arabian writers, but very little that is either 
accurate or even suggestive in regard to the river 
Niger. The Arabs at one time exercised a great in- 

(94) 2 



18 AFRICAN DISCOVERY PREVIOUS TO PARK. 

fluence over Africa — planted colonies, built cities, car- 
ried on an extensive commerce with the natives in 
gold and slaves, and finally established themselves as 
the dominant power in the land. The most famous 
among Arabian travellers was Ibu Batutu, a Moham- 
medan gentleman distinguished by his learning and 
accomplishments, who lived in the fourteenth century. 
In the course of his travels, Ibu Batutu undoubtedly 
beheld the Niger, but made the same mistake in re- 
gard to it as had been made by older writers, suppos- 
ing it to be identical with the Nile. 

The next traveller who contributed anything note- 
worthy to our knowledge of Africa was the geographer 
Leo, a native of Granada, who, for his explorations in 
the African continent, received the cognomen of Afri- 
canus. He, too, elaborated a theory in regard to the 
Niger, affirming that it had its source in a lake lying 
to the south of Bornou. 

While Portugal was in the zenith of her power, 
and her ships were supreme upon the seas, she directed 
her energies towards Africa with a view to coloniza- 
tion and national aggrandizement. Portuguese navi- 
gators made important discoveries along the western 
shores of the continent, opening up to commerce and 
the world the mouths of three several rivers — the 
Senegal, the Gambia, and the Rio Grande — all of 
which they believed to be the channels by which the 
Niger emptied itself into the Atlantic. The power 



AFRICAN DISCOVERY PREVIOUS TO PARK. 19 

and influence of Portugal, both on land and sea, waned 
until the nation ceased to be a factor in the councils 
of Europe. But after a long period of inglorious tor- 
por in the direction of discovery and scientific enter- 
prise, Portugal is again showing signs of coining to 
the front, if we may take as evidence the recent 
spirited and wonderful journey of Major Serpo Pinta 
across Africa. 

From this brief survey of early African discovery 
it will be seen that the river Niger, though it was 
made the focus of exploration, for a long period baffled 
the attempts of travellers to determine accurately 
either its source or its course. It was reserved for 
England to pierce and dissipate the thick cloud of 
obscurity which veiled the great river. Yet this was 
not accomplished immediately, nor without sacrifice. 

An association was formed in England in 1788, 
which took the title of the African Association. As 
its name suggests, the object of the association was 
to stimulate and encourage African discovery. The 
endeavours of the committee to find persons willing 
and competent to attempt the arduous task of pene- 
trating into the interior of Africa met with a quick 
response, the first volunteer for the required work 
being Mr. Ledyard. The chief qualifications which 
this gentleman possessed for the enterprise, besides 
dauntless courage and great ardour, were his having 
been a comrade of the illustrious Cook in his voyage 



20 AFRICAN DISCOVERY PREVIOUS TO PARK. 

round the world, and his having spent many years of 
adventurous life among the North American Indians. 
Mr. Ledyard's career in Africa was a sadly brief one. 
While at Cairo, whence his expedition was to set out, 
he was laid low by fever, induced, there can be little 
doubt, by the fretting of his eager and impetuous 
spirit at some hindrance in the starting of his caravan. 
Hasty and injudicious treatment of himself completed 
what anxiety and vexation had begun ; and thus the 
first envoy of the African Association brought to an 
untimely close an enterprise which, had intrepidity 
and enthusiasm been all that was required, might have 
had a brilliant and important issue. 

The next traveller employed by the Association was 
Mr. Lucas. He was unfortunate in the timing of his 
journey, for the regions of Africa through which he 
endeavoured to pass were in a disturbed and danger- 
ous state, owing to a rebellion among the Moors. 
Neither camels nor guides could be procured, and at 
last the traveller was obliged to abandon his enter- 
prise. Nevertheless Mr. Lucas succeeded in collecting 
various notes relative to the country contiguous to 
Tripoli, which added something to the general know- 
ledge of Africa. 

It will be observed that these two attempts to ad- 
vance into the interior of Africa were land expeditions. 
The next undertaken was so far of the same character, 
but the start was from an entirely different point. Major 



AFRICAN DISCOVERY PREVIOUS TO PARK. 21 

Houghton, the third adventurer in the field of African 
exploration, chose the route by the river Gambia, be- 
lieving that he would thereby most surely and quickly 
reach the Niger. Few episodes in the record of African 
adventure are more pitiable than the fate of this gal- 
lant and ardent gentleman. He reached in safety 
Ferbanna, on the Faleme, where he was welcomed with 
every hospitality by the king, who forwarded him on 
his journey by all the means in his power. The next 
and last personal communication from Major Hough- 
ton told of his being in good health and spirits ; but 
shortly thereafter the report came of his death — a 
report which was subsequently confirmed in every 
essential by Park. Plundered of everything he pos- 
sessed, and left to wander without food and clothing in 
the heart of the desert, the ill-fated traveller perished 
of starvation, exposure, and fatigue. 



CHAPTER II. 

park's first journey. 

We now arrive at a very important stage in the 
history of African discovery — that marked by the 
appearance of Mungo Park. Park's success as a dis- 
coverer having so greatly exceeded that of any pre- 
vious traveller, it is fitting that we should place 
before the reader a few particulars regarding his 
early life, before proceeding to give an epitome of his 
two great journeys. 

Mungo Park's birth-place was Fowlshiels, near Sel- 
kirk, where he first saw the light in September 1771. 
The elder Park was a well-to-do farmer, who had so 
strong an infusion of the ambition common among 
Scottish parents of giving their children the best edu- 
cation in their power, that he engaged a tutor for his 
boys and girls — a rare proceeding on the part of a 
farmer in those days. Young Mungo Park subse- 
quently attended a school in Selkirk, where he does 
not appear to have displayed more than an average 
degree of ability in his studies. He was fond of all 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 25 

kinds of reading, however, and was generally of a 
thoughtful temperament. It is related of the boy 
that old romances and the stirring Border ballads were 
among his favourite reading, which would seem to 
indicate that beneath the quiet reserve of his outward 
bearing there smouldered no little imagination and 
enthusiasm. 

It was the desire of his parents that young Mungo 
should study for the ministry, but the lad's own in- 
clinations were not in this direction. He wished to 
follow the medical profession, and was accordingly 
apprenticed to a surgeon in Selkirk. In the year 
1789 he began to attend the medical lectures at the 
Edinburgh University, and finished the usual three 
years' course. His favourite study at this time, and 
indeed always, was botany. 

In 1792 Park sailed for Sumatra, as assistant sur- 
geon on board the East Indiaman Worcester, returning 
to England after a year's absence. The desire of the 
African Association to find some individual qualified 
and ready to prosecute still further the work of ex- 
ploration in Africa, and to endeavour to finish what 
Major Houghton and his predecessors had little more 
than begun, roused the ambition and enthusiasm of 
Park, and he offered his services to the Association. 
The committee deemed Mr. Park's qualifications for 
his task fully sufficient, his services were accepted, 
and preparations were begun for his departure for 



26 PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 

Africa. Nearly two years elapsed, however, before he 
was ready to start. 

Park sailed from Portsmouth on the 22 nd of May 
1795, and disembarked in Africa at Jillifree, a town 
on the Gambia. On the 5 th July he reached Pisania, 
where he was warmly welcomed by Dr. Laidley. 
During a residence of five months with his hospitable 
host, Park attained to considerable proficiency in the 
Mandingo language ; while at the same time he was 
active in studying the customs and character of the 
natives and the natural features of the country — a 
pursuit which even an attack of fever only partially 
interrupted. He describes the Gambia at this stage 
of its course as deep and muddy, its shores hidden by 
thickets of mangrove, the stream itself being full of 
fish of strange and unknown varieties, and higher up 
of hippopotami and alligators. 

Mr. Park took leave of Dr. Laidley early in De- 
cember 1795. His companions were three in num- 
ber — a man, a boy, and a horse. The first was a 
native named Johnson, who spoke both English and 
Mandingo ; the second a negro lad, Demba, who was 
also acquainted with several languages besides his own ; 
while the horse was a small but wiry animal, of much 
spirit and hardihood. Johnson and Demba had also 
an ass each, which carried both their masters and the 
packs. 

On December the 5 th the little party of travellers 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 27 

reached Medina, a town containing some one thousand 
houses, and the capital of the kingdom of Wooli. 
King Jatta, the ruling sovereign of Wooli, was the 
king who had so hospitably received Major Houghton 
during his sojourn in his dominions; and he now mani- 
fested the same disposition to befriend and assist Mr. 
Park. Nevertheless he thought it incumbent on him 
to try to dissuade the traveller from his journey, 
assuring him that the same fate which befell Major 
Houghton awaited every white man who should en- 
deavour to pass through the countries east of Wooli. 
Mr. Park thanked the king for his kindly and well- 
meant advice, but said that he must at all hazards 
complete the task he had begun. 

On the 8th the travellers reached Kolor, a town of 
some size, where Mr. Park first made the acquaintance 
of that curious African deity or demon — whichever it 
may be regarded as — Mumbo Jumbo. He beheld, sus- 
pended from the bough of a tree, a sort of masquerade 
suit made of bark, and this, he was informed, belonged 
to Mumbo Jumbo. A Kafir may marry as many 
wives as he pleases, or can afford to add to his house- 
hold. One result of this system of polygamy, as it 
obtains among the Mandingoes, is that the wives 
occasionally fall out. When these intestine wars wax 
so fierce that the authority of the husband is set at 
defiance, the aid of Mumbo Jumbo is invoked, and 
seldom, it would appear, without the desired effect. 



28 PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 

" This strange minister of justice," writes Mr. Park, 
"(who is supposed to be either the husband himself 
or some person instructed by him), disguised in the 
dress that has been mentioned, and armed with the 
rod of public authority, announces his coming by loud 
and dismal screams in the woods near the town. He 
begins the pantomime at the approach of night ; and 
as soon as it is dark he enters the town and proceeds 
to the bentang, at which all the inhabitants immediately 
assemble." It will thus be seen that Mumbo Jumbo 
is the great bugbear or " Bogey " of Mandingo Kafir 
wives. 

At Koojar, the frontier town of the kingdom of 
Bondou, our traveller was invited to witness a 
neobering or wrestling-match. The antagonists, 
athletic young men fired with emulation, stripped 
naked, save for a short pair of drawers, and with their 
limbs well lubricated with shea butter, like the com- 
petitors in the ancient classic games, approached each 
other on all fours. After some little feinting and 
warding the rivals closed, and then began a display of 
agility and strength which Mr. Park believed few 
English athletes would have been able to match. 
The combatants were stimulated in their contest by 
the music of a drum, to whose rude strains they even, 
in some degree, timed their movements. 

On the morning of the 12 th the travellers entered 
the wilderness that stretches between the kingdoms 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 29 

of Wooli and Bondou. At noon they found them- 
selves beneath a large tree, the odd appearance of 
which could not fail to strike Mr. Park. The tree 
was called by the natives Neema Taba. Its branches 
were ornamented with a ragged drapery of scraps and 
patches of cloth which various travellers had fastened 
to them — at first, Mr. Park suggests, to indicate that 
water was to be found close at hand ; and the custom 
having in time come to be regarded as a sort of 
religious rite, at length no wayfarer cared to pass 
without hanging up something. 

Mr. Park's next halting-place was Tallika, the 
chief town in the Bondou territory, the inhabitants of 
which seemed to do a brisk commerce in supplying 
passing caravans with provisions, and also in ivory — 
two sources of wealth which enabled them to live in 
comfortable estate. 

The travellers quitted Tallika on December 14 th, 
but had ridden only a short distance when the har- 
mony of the little company — which, it must be stated, 
was at this time increased by a party of Serawoollies — 
was interrupted by a fierce quarrel between two of the 
number. These breakers of the peace indulged in some 
very unflattering epithets towards each other ; which 
causes Mr. Park to relate, as a circumstance worthy of 
note, that a blow is a much lighter insult to an 
African than a slighting word spoken of his rela- 
tives. " Strike me, but do not curse my mother," 



30 PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 

is an expression frequently heard even from the lips 
of slaves. Mr. Park took prompt measures to put an 
end to this unseemly quarrel between his fellow- 
travellers, by plainly informing the one who was mani- 
festly in the wrong, that if he attempted to draw his 
cutlass again, he should regard him as a robber and 
shoot him on the spot — a threat which had all the 
desired effect. The above is an example of the prompt 
and fearless measures which Mr. Park could command 
whenever any crisis called for such — a quality all the 
more remarkable in one naturally disposed to be pro- 
pitiatory, where propitiatory action would by any 
means serve his end. 

On the 21st Mr. Park arrived at Fatteconda, the 
chief town in Bondou, where he was quickly presented 
to the king, Almami. The traveller approached the 
presence of this personage with some feeling of doubt, 
for he had heard that Almami's conduct towards 
Major Houghton was marked by great unkindness. 
Mr. Park therefore took the precaution of bringing 
with him gifts of some value. The king received the 
presents more graciously than the giver had hoped 
for, and then, after some long and circumlocutory 
praise of white men in general, their riches and their 
generosity, descended to particulars by passing a 
warm eulogium on Mr. Park's coat — a blue one, gay 
with yellow buttons — and finally wound up his 
speech in the manner that the traveller probably 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 31 

anticipated, by begging him to present him with the 
garment. Though the coat was the only good one in 
Mr. Park's possession, he deemed it politic to consent 
to the king's request, knowing that with an African 
prince a request is usually synonymous with a com- 
mand. The traveller's mortification in this instance 
must have been all the greater from the circumstance 
that he had put on his new blue coat in the fond 
expectation that his back was the safest place for it — 
a process of reasoning altogether too simple for the 
occasion, as the event proved. 

King Almami, however, so far reimbursed Mr. Park 
for the loss of his coat as to supply him with plenty 
of provisions, and subsequently — as a mark of special 
favour probably — introduced him to the ladies of his 
household, who had expressed a wish to see the 
stranger. This interview with King Almami's wives 
formed one of the funniest episodes in Park's travels. 

These were about a dozen in number, for the most 
part of comely aspect and lively demeanour. Two 
features in the traveller's appearance especially sur- 
prised and amused them — the whiteness of his com- 
plexion, and the prominence of his nose. He had 
been washed in milk when a child, they insisted, and 
had thus become so white, while his nose had attained 
its present unnatural and preposterous shape by dint 
of daily pinching. Mr. Park met the badinage of 
the dusky beauties in a like light and lively vein, 



32 PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 

indulging in a liberal strain of compliment on the good 
looks of African ladies. His entertainers replied that 
honey-mouth, their expressive phrase for flattery, was 
but lightly regarded in Bondou. Nevertheless they 
did not seem altogether indifferent to the white man's 
approval, one proof of which may have been the little 
present — a jar of honey and some fish — which they 
afterwards sent to his hut. 

Park quitted Fatteconda on the 23rd, and presently 
reached Joag, in the kingdom of Kagaaga, the in- 
habitants of which are called Serawoollies, a people 
who show a marked capacity for business, are fairly 
honest and straightforward in their dealings, and many 
of whom attain to comparative wealth from the sale 
of gold, salt, and cotton. Our traveller was not well 
treated by the Serawoollies, being robbed of his 
money by a party of horsemen, who pretended 
that he had contravened the laws of the country 
by entering it without paying duty. As an offset 
to this indignity, however, he met with unexpected 
kindness at the hands of an old woman, who behold- 
ing him sitting, disconsolate and hungry-looking, be- 
neath a bentang tree, asked him if he had had his 
dinner. On Park's replying in the negative, and 
recounting the circumstances of his robbery, the old 
woman, placing on the ground the basket she had 
been carrying on her head, took from it some hand- 
fuls of nuts, and, with a look of much solicitude and 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 33 

pity, presented them to the white man. This was the 
first of many similar instances of spontaneous and 
unlooked-for kindness which Park experienced from 
the rude and untutored peoples among whom his 
journey led him, and it will be seen, as the narrative 
proceeds, how, in his sorest straits, he was especially 
indebted to women for succour and solace. 

Park's next important halting-place was Koonia- 
kari in the kingdom of Kasson, where he was well 
received by the king, Demba Sego Jalla, a favour- 
able specimen of a native prince, whose prowess in 
war and clemency in peace had secured the sincere 
attachment of his people. Demba Sego Jalla had seen 
Major Houghton, and had made him a present of a 
white horse. He knew that the traveller had been 
killed by the Moors, but could not supply Mr. Park 
with the particulars of his death. Park was fur- 
nished by the king with two guides to conduct him 
to Kaarta, the capital of which, Kemmoo, he presently 
reached. Towards sunset of the same day he had an 
audience of the king (Daisey Koorabani) who received 
the white man seated simply on a bank of earth, 
which, covered with a leopard-skin, formed the royal 
throne. King Daisey was surrounded by a large body 
of guards and attendants, who preserved excellent 
order ; but save for the elevation of his seat and the 
leopard-skin, there was nothing about the king to 
distinguish him from the rest of his court. 

(94) 3 



34 PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 

When Park had explained to King Daisey the cir- 
cumstances and object of his journey, and asked his 
aid in forwarding him on his way, the latter listened 
to the traveller with attention, but replied that he 
would be unable to render him much assistance. 
There was feud between the people of Kaarta and of 
Bambarra, the adjoining kingdom ; and hence it was 
impossible that the king of the former country could 
at present enter into friendly communication with one 
who was his enemy. King Daisey strongly recom- 
mended Mr. Park to return by the way he had come ; 
but as the traveller expressed a firm determination 
not to do this, the king advised, as the next best 
course to adopt, that Park should proceed to Bam- 
barra by a circuitous route through the Moorish 
territory of Ludamar. It was identically the same 
path which led Major Houghton to his death ; but as 
he had no other choice, Park determined to follow it 
also, and on February the 13th set out from Kemmoo, 
accompanied by three of King Daisey 's sons. 

Shortly before entering Jarra, the frontier town of 
Ludamar, Park witnessed an episode of curious and 
painful interest. A native herdsman had been 
wounded by a Moorish robber, and was being slowly 
led home, supported on his horse by a number of 
comrades. In front of the little cortege walked the 
young man's mother, wild with grief, clapping with 
her hands, and singing the praises of her son — his 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 35 

virtues, gifts, and graces. " Ee maffo fonio ! " (He 
never told a lie.) " Ee maffo fonio ; abada " (He 
never told a lie ; no, never !), she cried. The wounded 
youth was carried into her hut and placed upon a 
mat — a crowd of his friends gathering around the 
white, and bewailing the mishap with pitiable howling 
and moaning. 

Mr. Park being requested to examine the young 
man's wound, did so, and found that the bone of the 
leg had sustained a serious fracture, which would ne- 
cessitate the amputation of the limb, if there was to 
be any hope of saving the lad's life. This the boy's 
relatives and friends would not hear of, regarding it 
as an act of unheard-of cruelty ; and the sufferer died 
the same evening. 

On the 18th Park and his companions passed the 
village of Simbing, a place which must have had pain- 
ful associations for the traveller; for it was from here 
that his gallant predecessor, Major Houghton, dated 
his last letter — written in pencil — to Dr. Laidley. 
Here Mr. Park heard the full particulars of Major 
Houghton's death (a brief account of which has 
already been given), and was shown from a distance 
the very spot where the traveller's body had been 
left a prey to the vulture and the jackal. 

On his arrival at Jarra — a considerable town situ- 
ated among rocky hills, substantially built of stone 
and clay, and inhabited by negroes subject to the 



36 PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 

Moors — Park sent forward to Ali, the ruling chief of 
Ludamar, a propitiatory present consisting of cotton 
clothing. At Deena, the next large town at which 
the traveller halted, he had his first experience of the 
inhospitable and insulting treatment of which he was 
to have only too many examples during his sojourn 
among the Moors. 

A crowd collected about the hut in which he was 
lodging, and forthwith began to yell, hiss, and abuse 
the unfortunate white man by every means they 
could devise, even to the length of spitting in his 
face. As a last method of rousing and if possible 
enraging their victim, they reviled him for being a 
Christian, and finally proceeded to strip him of every- 
thing of value which he possessed. 

Proceeding still patiently on his journey, Park next 
passed through Sampaka and Samee, the latter a 
negro village, where he once more met with the hos- 
pitable entertainment which he so often received at 
the hands of the negroes, and which so agreeably con- 
trasted with his treatment by the Moors. The dooty, 
or chief man of Samee, killed two fat sheep in the 
white man's honour, and liberally feasted him and his 
companions. 

Refreshed in body and cheered in spirit by the 
timely and gentle ministrations of these simple 
people, Mr. Park was indulging the hope that he had 
nothing further to fear from the Moors, and was 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 37 

already dreaming of a successful and glorious issue to 
his journey, when hopes and dreams were alike rudely 
dispelled by the sudden appearance at the door of his 
hut of a party of Moors, who came to convey the 
white man to Ali's camp at Benowm. Park narrates 
that he was struck speechless with surprise and fear 
at the sight of these men — a condition of mind that 
was little allayed by their declaration that he had 
nothing to dread, and that their visit had been insti- 
gated chiefly by the desire of Queen Fatima, Ali's 
wife, to make acquaintance with the white man. 

On March 12th, Park and his escort reached Be- 
nowm, which was little else than a collection of mean- 
looking tents, confusedly scattered over a large area, 
and among which herds of cattle, camels, and goats 
roamed at will. As the party entered the camp, Park, 
being exceedingly thirsty, endeavoured to obtain a 
little water. He was at length successful. But imme- 
diately the people at the wells beheld the white man, 
they flung down their water-pitchers ; men, women, 
and children came running towards him ; and Mr. 
Park presently found himself surrounded by so great 
a crowd that he was unable to move this way or that. 
Forthwith began a process of petty annoyance of the 
stranger : one pulled off his hat ; others tugged at 
his coat ; others insisted on examining his waistcoat 
buttons ; and another, with significant threats, made 
him repeat after him the words, " Ilia la el Allah, 



38 PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 

Mahomet rasowl alabi " (There is but one God, and 
Mohammed is his prophet). 

When the traveller was at length brought before 
Ali, he found that prince seated on a leather cushion, 
engaged in trimming his moustache, while a female 
slave held up a looking-glass before him. The king 
was an elderly man, with a flowing white beard, and 
a not very pleasant type of countenance, by reason of 
its sullen and angry expression. After looking fixedly 
at the stranger, he asked him if he could speak Arabic; 
and on Park's replying that he could not, he seemed 
greatly surprised, and resumed his former silence. 

The ladies of the court, however, showed much 
greater inquisitiveness — putting innumerable questions 
to the white man ; minutely examining his clothes ; 
making him unbutton his vest, that they might see 
the whiteness of his skin ; and, finally, counting his 
fingers and toes, in doubt, presumably, whether he had 
the same number as themselves. 

At sunrise next day, Ali visited the traveller in his 
tent, to inform him that a hut had been made ready 
for him. Mr. Park found his new lodging cool and 
comfortable enough ; but he had barely taken pos- 
session of it when he was once more assailed by a 
crowd of Moors, and -the persecution of the hapless 
white man was renewed with greater persistence than 
ever. All that day, from noon till night, he was 
occupied in a series of dressings and undressings for 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 39 

the satisfaction and amusement of his visitors, being 
supported under this disagreeable and trying ordeal 
only by a slight supper of kouskous and salt and 
water, the only meal that was provided him during the 
day. The traveller had a comparatively quiet night's 
rest ; but with daybreak began the same round of 
indignity and annoyance. " It is impossible," Mr. Park 
writes, " to describe the behaviour of a people who 
study mischief as a science, and exult in the miseries 
and misfortunes of their fellow-creatures." 

In devising methods of persecuting their helpless 
victim, the Moors certainly displayed an ingenuity 
worthy of a better cause. The means they discovered 
and devised of rendering Mr. Park's life miserable were 
innumerable. No one was so degraded in this bar- 
barous society but he might bait, bully, and insult 
the white man with impunity. 

His captors seemed to think, or at least pretended 
to, that the white man was a master of all trades; 
for at one time he was bidden to perform the duties 
of a gunsmith, and mend a gun for one of the king's 
sons, and at another time those of a barber. He was 
not, however, asked a second time to fill the latter 
office, for on his first occasion of doing so he managed 
to give the person being operated on (the boy-prince 
of Ludamar) an unmistakable proof of his being a 
novice in the craft — namely, a cut on the side of the 
head ; whereat the king, concluding that the head of 



40 PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 

his son and heir was in the wrong place, brought Mr. 
Park's performance to an abrupt conclusion. 

An object of special curiosity, and presently of 
superstitious awe to the Moors, was the traveller's 
pocket-compass. Ali himself was most anxious to 
have the mystery of the needle explained to him — 
why it always pointed to the north, to the Great 
Desert. Unable to devise any other answer that 
would have met the case, Mr. Park told the king that 
his mother dwelt beyond the Sahara Desert, and that 
as long as she lived the needle of the compass would 
point towards her home, thus serving as a guide to 
direct him to her ; and that when she died it would 
point to her grave — a harmless fabrication which got 
the traveller out of his difficulty, for it would have 
been futile to have attempted any scientific explana- 
tion of the matter. The king now regarded the com- 
pass with added astonishment and awe, and after 
turning it this way and that in his hands, following 
the motions of the needle with a face of silent won- 
der, he returned the little instrument to its owner, 
with every sign of fear at retaining any longer in his 
keeping so magical and potent a charm. 

Almost every day brought the captive white man 
new hardships and annoyances, and thus a whole 
month dragged wearily along. Every sunset he ea- 
gerly welcomed the night, for then only was there 
respite for him from the persecutions of his oppressors. 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 41 

He was insufficiently fed, and on the coarsest fare — a 
bowl of kouskous with a little salt and water consti- 
tuting his single daily meal. But he suffered most 
of all from thirst, for it was the dry season, and the 
heat was intense. 

One evening, having in vain tried to procure a 
drink in the camp, Park, feverish from thirst, wan- 
dered out into the night, if by any chance he might 
obtain a draught of water at the wells, which were 
about half a mile distant from the town. Having 
accosted an old man who was busy drawing water, 
and requested that he might be allowed to drink, the 
man was at first about to hand him his bucket, when, 
suddenly calling to mind that he was a Christian, he 
emptied the contents of the bucket into a common 
cow-trough, and bade the white man drink from it. 
It was not a time to regard niceties, and the fever- 
parched white man was fain to thrust his head be- 
tween those of two cows, and take a long and deep 
draught from the rude trough. 

All this time Park had seen nothing of Queen 
Fatima, who was the ostensible cause of his being 
brought to Benowm and detained so long there ; but 
at last he had an interview with the Moorish princess, 
at her residence in Bubaker. She was a woman of 
enormous size — corpulence being regarded among the 
Moors as the most distinguished mark of female 
beauty — with long black hair. At first she showed 



42 PARK 'S FIRST JO URNE Y. 

some signs of being scandalized at the close proximity 
of a Christian, but presently received Mr. Park gra- 
ciously enough, questioned him about his native land, 
and finally dismissed him with a present of a bowl 
of milk. 

Again : it is worthy of being noted, that even among 
the Moors, whose treatment of Park was characterized 
by universal harshness and oppression, the only real 
kindness that he received was from a woman, Fatima 
continuing to befriend him to the end. The queen 
persuaded her husband to allow the traveller to return 
with him to Jarra, Mr. Park being at this time, it will 
be remembered, at Bubaker. 

After a few days' stay at Jarra, Ali returned to 
Bubaker to celebrate an approaching feast, and Mr. 
Park was left to await the king's return. On the 
14th of June, news was brought to Jarra that King 
Daisey, with whom Ali was at war, was about to at- 
tack the camp. On the 26th, information arrived 
that Daisey had captured Simbing, and would be in 
Jarra immediately. Whereupon one-half of the in- 
habitants abandoned the town, and set out for Bam- 
barra. 

In the general confusion which now ensued in Jarra, 
Park resolved to attempt his escape. Mounting his 
horse, and throwing a bag of corn across his saddle, 
he joined the retreating crowd of townspeople, and 
mingled in the hurrying throng of men, women, and 




MUNGO PARK'S FIRST SIGHT OF THE NIGER. 



Page 4g. 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 45 

children, cattle, sheep, and goats. The panic-stricken 
band of refugees, abandoning their homes and pos- 
sessions, presented a sad and pitiful sight, which even 
Mr. Park, much as he had suffered at the hands of the 
Moors, could not help compassionating. 

A crisis had arrived in Park's life. Now, if ever, 
an opportunity for escape from the Moors seemed to 
present itself. " I was again," he writes, " either to 
taste the blessings of freedom or languish out my days 
in captivity." Taking with him a small bundle, and 
bidding farewell to the negro Johnson, who had been 
so long his faithful companion, he escaped by night 
while his guards were asleep. He had placed some 
distance between himself and his captors, and had 
begun to indulge a feeling of security, when he heard 
a hallooing behind him : three horsemen galloped up, 
caught hold of his horse, and told him he must return 
with them to Ali. 

This unlooked-for downfall of all his hopes affected 
Park with the indifference and apathy of despair. But 
things were not so bad as they at first seemed. The 
three men had really no authority from Ali to appre- 
hend Mr. Park, and had followed him merely with the 
object of plunder. Having accomplished their pur- 
pose, they suffered the traveller to go free ; and Mr. 
Park, his spirits again rising at having escaped with 
his life, turned his face eastward, and presently en- 
tered the forest. 



46 PARK 'S FIRST JO URNE Y. 

Great as was Mr. Park's joy in the feeling of being 
once more a free man, he soon became alive to the 
gravity of his situation. He was without food and 
without water, faint from hunger and parched with 
thirst, while his horse was in much the same condi- 
tion, becoming presently too weak to support his 
rider's weight. 

Park now sank into a state of such extreme pros- 
tration that his consciousness for a time left him, and 
he fell into a faint. By-and-by, however, he recov- 
ered, and determining to make one more effort for his 
life, pushed wearily but patiently on, in the hope of 
reaching some pool of water — his only chance of restor- 
ing his exhausted energies. Presently he beheld a 
flash of lightning, followed by a second and a third ; 
the forest began to shake in the rising wind, and soon 
a few heavy rain-drops pattered down on the trav- 
eller. For upwards of an hour rain fell fast, and Mr. 
Park succeeded in quenching his thirst by soaking his 
clothes and then sucking them dry. 

The traveller pushed on, but it was not long ere 
he was again suffering from thirst. This time he was 
relieved more sufficiently. He heard a loud croaking 
of frogs, a "heavenly sound" to his ears, and shortly 
thereafter reached a shallow muddy pool, at which 
both himself and his horse fully quenched their thirst. 
On the same day he reached Shrilla, a Foulah village, 
where he sought entertainment at the house of the 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 49 

dooty, but was inhospitably turned from the door. 
At some little distance, spinning cotton, sat an old 
woman at the entrance of her hut. This kind old 
creature led the hungry and tired traveller into her 
cabin, set food before him, and brought corn for his 
horse ; in return for which good offices Mr. Park made 
her accept one of his handkerchiefs. 

On July the 15th our traveller halted at Wawra, 
a small negro town, where, being greatly fatigued, 
he rested a while. Resuming his journey, he passed 
through several other negro towns and villages, trav- 
elling now for the most part on foot, for his horse had 
become so weak that his master forbore making any 
attempt to ride him. 

As Mr. Park approached the town of Sego, visions 
of the Niger so filled his thoughts and his imagination 
that they prevented him from sleeping. It was even- 
ing as he drew near the town, when, gazing about him 
to catch sight of the river, he heard one of his com- 
panions, who consisted of Kaartan natives, call out, "Geo 
affilli !" (See the water !) And directing his gaze for- 
ward, he beheld, with satisfaction and joy that may 
be imagined, the great object of his mission — " the 
long -sought -for, majestic Niger, glittering to the 
morning sun, as broad as the Thames at Westmin- 
ster, and flowing slowly to the eastward." The dis- 
coverer of the great river, with mingled emotions 
of elation and thankfulness, hurried forward to the 

(94) 4 



50 PARK 'S FIRST JO URNE Y. 

bank, bent down and drank of the stream, and then 
offered up a heartfelt prayer of gratitude to God, 
who had thus far crowned his enterprise with signal 
success. 

Sego, the chief town of the kingdom of Bambarra, 
Park found to consist of four separate and distinct 
divisions — two situated on the northern, and two on 
the southern bank of the river. The place contained 
as many as thirty thousand inhabitants, and, for a re- 
mote town in the heart of Africa, presented a wonderful 
aspect of substantiality and prosperity. Some of the 
houses were of two stories, and a number had their 
walls white-washed; the city streets were comparatively 
broad, and Moorish mosques rose in every direction. 
The river was thronged with canoes, the thoroughfares 
of the town crowded with foot-passengers, and the 
neighbouring country was so well cultivated as to 
excite considerable surprise in Mr. Park's mind. 

Owing to the crowd of people desirous of being 
conveyed across the river, Mr. Park could not at once 
obtain a ferryman. While waiting his turn, seated 
on the bank of the river, he was informed that the 
king of Sego had refused to allow him to cross the 
river until he made known his object in visiting the 
country. A good deal discouraged by this rebuff, the 
traveller betook himself to a village at some distance 
from the town, where the king had bidden him take 
up his abode until further instructions. 




THE NEGRO SONG. 



Page S3. 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 53 

No one in the village would receive the traveller 
beneath his roof, and Mr. Park remained all day with- 
out food seated beneath a tree. The wind increased, 
there was every appearance of heavy rain, and the 
prospect of spending a night out-of-doors was a suf- 
ficiently dreary one, especially as the surrounding- 
country was infested with wild animals. 

At this juncture — when Park saw nothing before 
him but a night spent under these cheerless condi- 
tions — there occurred what was at once perhaps 
the most pleasing and not the least pathetic episode 
in all his African experiences. As it was growing 
dusk, a kind negro woman, returning from "the fields, 
approached the faint and weary white man, and 
revealing in her looks her deep compassion for his 
sad plight, bade him follow her, while she herself 
carried his saddle and bridle. When she had seated 
Park on a mat in her hut, she trimmed a lamp, 
broiled a fish on the fire, and placed it before him 
as his supper. The rest of the household had mean- 
while been watching the stranger with looks of won- 
dering astonishment, but now resumed their occupation 
of spinning, which was continued far into the night. 
As they worked, the dark-skinned maidens sang to 
cheer their labour, and presently one improvised a 
song of which the white stranger was himself the 
theme. The air was sweet and plaintive, and the 
words touching in their naturalness and simplicity. 



54 PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 

IRegro Bong from /l&r. park's travels.* 



Adagio 




roared, the rain fell fast, The white man yield - ed to the blast ; He sat him 




down be-neath our tree, For wear -y, sad, and faint was he: And ah, 




wife, no moth ■ er's care, For him the milk or corn pre-pare, For him the milk or corn pre- 

1 -N- 




The words and music of the above song are taken from the original quarto edition 
of Park's travels. The words are by the Duchess of Devonshire, the music by G. G. 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 



55 



i^s 



-?s^^j±^ ^^m 



pare. The white man shall our pi - ty share; A -las.' no wife or moth-er's 



$t±=j=± 



3= 3=^ P 



^4.1 -l. U J- W 



PS 



§¥#Pil¥f 



J Vii 



fe^ ^yE^fe^ i 



3*=^ 



care For him the milk or com pre-pare, For him the milk or corn pre - pare. 



$^m 



^M 



■SE!E^ 



E*E 



<§'-. 






w 



The loud wind roared, the rain fell 

fast, 
The white man yielded to the blast ; 
He sat him down beneath our tree, 
For weary, sad, and faint was he : 
And ah, no wife, no mother's care, 
For him the milk or corn prepare. 

CHORUS. 

The white man shall our pity share ; 
Alas ! no wife or mother's care 
For him the milk or corn prepare. 



The storm is o'er, the tempest past, 
And Mercy's voice has hushed the 

blast; 
The wind is heard in whispers low, 
The white man far away must go ; 
But ever in his heart must bear 
Remembrance of the negro's care. 

CHORUS. 

Go, white man, go — but with thee bear 
The negro's wish, the negro's prayer, 
Remembrance of the negro's care. 



In perusing Mr. Park's journal no wonder is raised 
in the reader's mind, at this point, by the statement 
that the traveller was so keenly affected by the above 
episode that, weary though he was, sleep for long fled 

Ferrari, a well-known composer of the day, who was thought to have succeeded admir- 
ably in retaining the simplicity and plaintiveness of the original melody, while giving 
it more body and shape. 



56 PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 

from his eyes. To our thinking, there is an idyllic 
simplicity and even grace about the whole circum- 
stances of the incident quite worthy to awaken the 
inspiration of the poet ; while it is pleasing to con- 
template in another and different light, as exemplify- 
ing how universal is the kindly bond of humanity 
that links the race together. Here surely was an 
instance of the " one touch of nature " that " makes 
the whole world kin." 

The king of Sego's treatment of Park was, on the 
whole, liberal and considerate. He did not permit 
him to remain longer at Sego than two days ; but in 
adopting this course he was greatly influenced, Mr. 
Park believed, by fear of the Moors. The traveller 
was, however, presented by the king with a bag con- 
taining five thousand cowries, and provided with a 
guide as far as Sansanding, his next halting-place. 
Sansanding was found to be a place of some import- 
ance, largely frequented by Moorish traders in beads 
and coral, gold-dust and cotton cloth. Here the 
traveller was first mistaken for some one else, and 
afterwards treated with much discourtesy and rude- 
ness. The Moors gathered about him in great crowds, 
and insisted that he should accompany them to the 
mosque, and join in the Mohammedan worship. Mr. 
Park managed to escape this ordeal, but was com- 
pelled to mount a high seat in front of the mosque, 
in order that he might be easily seen by everybody. 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 57 

Then the rabble crowded into the hut in which the 
traveller had taken up his lodging, for the purpose of 
watching him at his evening devotions and seeing him 
" eat eggs." Seven raw hen-eggs having been set 
before him, he had considerable difficulty in making 
it clear to the people that it was not the universal 
custom among Europeans to eat eggs uncooked — an 
idea which seemed rooted in their minds. To the 
wish of his visitors, that he should perform his de- 
votions before them, he did not think fit to yield. 

From his landlord at Sansanding, however, the 
traveller received hospitable enough treatment, which 
he in part repaid by writing out for the old man a 
saphic or charm, which the latter was very anxious 
to obtain. " If a Moor's saphic is good," said he, 
"a white man's must needs be better." Whereupon 
Mr. Park wrote out the charm of greatest virtue with 
which he was acquainted — the Lord's Prayer. 

Quitting Sansanding, Park passed through Nyara 
and Nyamee, and presently his route again led through 
the forest. He was riding slowly on, his horse being 
greatly fatigued, when his guide suddenly exclaimed, 
" Wara billi billi " (A very large lion) ; and again, 
" Soubah an Allahi " (God preserve us). The traveller 
looked quickly round, and beheld a large red lion 
couching among the bushes a little way off from the 
track he was pursuing. Mr. Park feared every 
moment that the lion would spring upon him ; but no 



58 PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 

such danger overtook him — the creature suffering him 
and his companion to pass quietly on. 

At this stage of his journey the traveller suffered 
much from the attacks of mosquitoes, and passed 
night after night without obtaining sleep, engaged in 
a vain attempt to keep at bay the countless swarms of 
these remorseless insects. But a worse misfortune 
befell him in the necessity he was under of at length 
abandoning his horse, so long the faithful companion 
of his wanderings and the patient sharer of his every 
hardship. The poor animal had become too weak to 
proceed a yard further. All that Park could do was 
to place a bundle of grass before him and continue 
his journey on foot, heavy at heart for the loss of his 
horse, and with a dreary foreboding that a similar 
fate — death in the wilderness — awaited himself. 

On reaching Kea, a small fishing village, Park 
embarked on the Niger in a canoe, and presently 
arrived at Moorzan, a town on the north bank of the 
river, whence he crossed over to Silla. Here, with 
much difficulty, he obtained lodging at the house 
of the dooty, and on the same night of his arrival 
in the town was prostrated with a sharp attack of 
fever. 

Park's position was now a grave one. He was 
without clothing and without food, and possessed no 
means of procuring either. He was debilitated by 
frequent sickness, and by the long periods of fasting 




A LION IN THE WAY. 



P "gt S7- 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 61 

which he had from time to time had to undergo. The 
difficulties of pushing his way further eastward were 
more than he could hope to overcome. The rainy- 
season had already begun ; in a little while the low 
grounds would be nothing else than marshes, and all 
progress, save by water, impossible. The few cowries 
still remaining to the traveller, from the king of Sego's 
present, were quite insufficient to hire a canoe for any 
length of time, and to trust to the good-will of the 
Moors for being forwarded on his way, Park knew, 
from painful experience, to be worse than vain. After 
long and anxious pondering of the question, he con- 
cluded that the only course left to him, if he was ever 
again to reach the coast a living man, was to turn his 
face westward ; and no reader of his journal will for a 
moment doubt the wisdom of his decision, or dream of 
imputing a thought of faint-heartedness to the trav- 
eller for making it. 

Park now began his return journey westward. At 
Modiboo an unexpected pleasure awaited him in the 
recovery of his horse, which had been found by the 
dooty of the place and restored to comparative strength. 
The traveller set out from Modiboo, driving his horse 
before him. The country was now little better than 
a swamp, and Mr. Park had to wade for miles to- 
gether up to his knees in water. Twice his horse 
stuck fast in the mud, and was only disembedded 
with much difficulty. One morning the traveller 



62 PARK 'S FIRST JO URJYE Y. 

counted fourteen native huts that had been under- 
mined and wrecked since the rains had set in. 

Mr. Park's reception at the several towns through 
which he now passed was the reverse of encouraging. 
The cause of this he was not long in discovering. A 
report had spread that he had come to Bambarra as a 
spy, and he was accordingly everywhere shunned and 
mistrusted. On his arrival at Sansanding, even Counti 
Mamadi, who, as he himself records, had received him 
so kindly on his eastward journey, now gave him but 
a cold welcome, and informed him that the king of 
Sego had sent after him to bring him back. Finally, 
Counti Mamadi advised Park to leave Sansanding 
early in the morning, and on no account to visit 
Diggani or any town near Sego. 

Notwithstanding this caution, Park halted on 
August 11th at a small village within a short distance 
of the capital, where, however, the critical nature of 
his position being impressed upon him more strongly 
than ever, he resolved to avoid Sego altogether. Ac- 
cordingly, mounting his horse, he struck into the 
swamps and forest again, and set his face due west- 
ward. More than once he had half resolved upon 
swimming the Niger, and making for Cape Coast to 
the south, but finally judged that he should carry out 
the object of his expedition more closely if he held on 
in a westerly direction, and sought to determine how 
far the Niger was navigable at that part of its course. 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 65 

Mr. Park's journey continued under difficulties. He 
suffered from scarcity of food, and from the toil and 
fatigue of travelling through the inundated country. 
On the 16th of August he passed through the town 
of Yamina. This he found to be a place of consider- 
able importance ; but as it was much frequented by 
the Moors, he did not think it safe to lodge in it. 

On August the 18th he reached a narrow but rapid 
stream which he at first thought must be a tributary 
of the Niger, but presently discovered to be a distinct 
river. He entered the stream, leading his horse, and 
was already neck-deep in water, when a voice from 
the bank behind him loudly called upon him to come 
back. Turning round, Park beheld a native, who 
proceeded to inform him that the river was full of 
alligators, which would be certain to devour both the 
traveller and his horse if they tried to swim the 
river. When Mr. Park again stood on the bank, the 
black man, in great astonishment at this his first 
sight of a white man, exclaimed in a low voice, " God 
preserve us ! who is this ? " Mr. Park addressed the 
man in the Bambarra tongue, which seemed to re- 
assure him ; for he promised to help the traveller to 
cross the river. A canoe was procured, and in a short 
while Mr. Park was safely landed on the opposite 
bank. 

The stranger's good offices did not cease here. At 
Taffara, Park, being unable to obtain a lodging, was 

(94) 5 



66 PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 

seated beneath the bentang tree, exposed to the fierce 
violence of a storm that was then raging, when his 
former deliverer came up and shared his supper with 
the white man. He would have invited the traveller 
into the hut in which he was lodging; but being 
himself only a guest, he had not the authority. The 
night was spent by Park on the wet grass in an outer 
court. 

Mr. Park had as much difficulty in procuring food 
for his horse as for himself. At the village of Sooha, 
the dooty absolutely refused to supply him with a 
morsel of either, whether for payment or charity. 
While the traveller was endeavouring to discover a 
reason for the man's unusually discourteous and rough 
bearing, the latter ordered a slave to bring a hoe. The 
slave began to dig a hole ; the dooty meanwhile look- 
ing on, and muttering such sentences as, " Dank atoo " 
(Good for nothing), " Jankra lemen " (A real plague). 
When the slave had finished his work he departed to 
the village, and presently returned, carrying the dead 
body of a boy. In great surprise Park waited for the 
sequel. The slave, roughly lifting the naked corpse, 
flung it into the pit with a heartless indifference such 
as Mr. Park had never hitherto beheld during his 
travels. While the man threw in the earth over the 
grave, the dooty kept repeating, " Naphula attiniata " 
(Money lost), which left little doubt in Mr. Park's 
mind that the boy had been a slave. This was 



PARK 'S FIRST JO URNE Y. 67 

perhaps the most shocking scene witnessed by the 
traveller in Africa. 

Pursuing his route along the bank of the river, he 
reached towards evening Koolikorro, a place of some 
size, the inhabitants of which traded extensively in 
salt. Here the native with whom he lodged, immedi- 
ately on learning that the stranger was a Christian, 
proposed that Park should make him a saphic "to 
protect him from wicked men," promising that in 
return he would prepare for his guest a supper of rice. 
This was a chance of a good meal not to be lightly 
regarded by the half -famished wanderer. The landlord 
brought a board which Mr. Park covered with writing 
from top to bottom on both sides. What he wrote, 
on this occasion of charm-making, is not recorded in 
the traveller's journal ; but whatever it was, it seemed 
abundantly to satisfy his landlord, who, washing off 
the writing on the board into a cup containing a little 
water, and murmuring a prayer over the liquid, drank 
it at a draught, afterwards licking the board dry, that 
no word of the potent charm might be wasted. That 
night our traveller enjoyed the only sufficient meal 
and good sleep he had had for many days. 

On the 23rd of August Park reached Bammakoo, 
where he obtained from a slave-merchant information 
respecting his further route westward. What he 
learned was not reassuring. His road would lead him 
across the Joliba at a town where it would be 



68 PARK 'S FIRST JO URNEY. 

impossible to procure a canoe large enough to convey 
his horse across the river. Mr. Park, however, had 
no alternative but to push forward. At Kooma, a 
secluded and picturesque village, he was most hos- 
pitably entertained by the simple and kind-hearted 
inhabitants, who brought a supper of corn and milk 
for the traveller, and provender for his horse, kindled 
his fire, and provided him with a hut for the night. 

Mr. Park left Kooma escorted by two shepherds. 
Towards noon of the same day he heard a noise as 
of people shouting. Riding in the direction whence 
the sound proceeded he beheld a man seated on the 
stump of a tree, while some half-dozen heads were 
just visible among the grass. The traveller took the 
men for elephant-hunters, but they proved to be 
robbers — and of the most pitiless sort. Resistance 
would have been vain and probably dangerous. The 
traveller was stripped of everything he possessed, and 
at first feared that he would be left literally naked. 
But a spark of humanity survived even in the breasts 
of these savage banditti. They left their victim the 
oldest of his two shirts, a pair of trowsers, and his hat 
— for the recovery of which latter article Mr. Park 
was no doubt very thankful, as it was the receptacle 
of his notes. 

This incident depressed Park more, probably, than 
any hardship he had yet endured. He was alone in 
a dreadful wilderness, almost naked, far away from 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 69 

all help from his own countrymen, with savage ani- 
mals on every side, and men not less savage — a com- 
bination of adverse circumstances greater than he 
seemed able to struggle against. Thoughts of death 
filled his mind ; there was nothing left for him but 
to lie down and breathe his last. 

But in this his darkest hour, Park records that he 
was not entirely without support and solace. The 
thought that his present position was due to no fault 
or folly of his own, that he had fulfilled his mission to 
the best of his knowledge and ability, and that his 
fate was even now in the hands of that Providence 
who could protect him as surely in a strange land as 
in his own — these reflections came to sustain him, and 
prevented any feeling of bitterness mingling with his 
depression. 

While he thus sat in sad contemplation of his fate, 
a trifling circumstance served to turn the current of 
his thoughts, to direct them into a more cheerful 
channel, and finally to fill his heart with fresh hope 
and courage. This happy reanimation of spirit was 
caused by the sight of a simple little plant, a small 
moss in fructification, the exquisite beauty of which 
had power to move the admiration of the traveller in 
his hour of deepest languor. Could the Being, he 
thought, who created this little plant, tended and 
nursed it to perfection in this remote spot, regard with 
indifference one of his own suffering children, made in 



70 PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 

his own likeness ? Surely not ! The thought forbade 
despair. The traveller rose from the ground, and 
battling down his hunger and fatigue, pressed onward 
in the hope that relief would yet reach him before it 
was too late. And he was not disappointed. Suffi- 
cient strength remained to him to enable him to reach 
Sibidooloo, the frontier town of Manding, at sunset. 

In reading the above simple but affecting incident, 
it is impossible to avoid the thought of how a man's 
favourite study may sometimes come to his aid in the 
sorest strait. It is but one of many similar instances 
on record, as every reader of travel and biography 
must call to mind. To the love of all natural beauties 
with which Park's study of botany had inspired him 
the thoughts raised in his breast by the sight of the 
little flower must in part be attributed ; for it is 
improbable that at such a moment a simple little 
moss-plant would have discovered all its delicate grace 
to an ordinary and untrained eye. This idea takes 
nothing from the moral side of the picture — the 
natural and devout emotions with which the sight of 
the flower filled the traveller's heart. 

To the mansa — or chief man — of Sibidooloo, 
Park related his recent adventures, which roused in 
his hearer's breast an indignation creditable to him. 
" Sit down," said he ; " you shall have everything 
restored to you. — Give the white man " (to an attend- 
ant) " a draught of water ; and with the first light 



PA RK 'S FIRST JO URNE Y. 71 

of the morning go over the hills, and inform the 
dooty of Bammakoo that a poor white man — the 
king of Bambarra's stranger — has been robbed by the 
king of Fooladoo's people." 

Park remained two days at Sibidooloo, and no news 
of his horse and clothes having reached the town 
during that time, he resumed his journey. At Wonda he 
was obliged to rest as long as nine days, being stricken 
down with fever, from which he had suffered inter- 
mittently ever since the rainy season had set in. 
Food was now very scarce in every place through 
which the traveller passed, painful proofs of which he 
witnessed on all sides. 

During his stay at Wonda, Park recovered his horse 
and clothes, sent on by the mansa of Sibidooloo, who 
had thus been enabled to redeem his promise. The 
traveller's compass, however, was so much broken as to 
be rendered useless; and his horse so emaciated that he 
was glad to be able to leave it with his landlord, who, 
he felt assured, would take every care of it. 

Park was but partially recovered from his sickness 
when he resumed his march. Passing through several 
other villages and towns, he arrived at Kamalia, where 
he took iip his residence at the house of one Karfa 
Taura, his acquaintance with whom proved of great 
importance to the traveller. Karfa Taura was a slave- 
merchant, and at the time of Park's arrival at Kamalia 
was collecting a coffle of slaves to take to the Gambia. 



72 PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 

The traveller now saw an opportunity of obtaining an 
escort that was not to be lost. He found the slave- 
merchant, notwithstanding the nature of his calling, to 
be a man of an exceedingly reasonable and honest dis- 
position. A compact was concluded, by the terms of 
which Karfa Taura was to allow Mr. Park to accom- 
pany him to the Gambia, supplying him with all 
necessary food on the journey ; and in return for his 
services he was to receive the price of one slave. 

Karfa Taura could not start on his journey until 
the rainy season was fairly over, and the roads in a 
condition for travelling by. Thus Mr. Park remained 
at Kamalia for a considerable time; and though during 
the greater part of his sojourn in the district he was 
prostrated with fever, he was able to collect a great 
deal of information in regard to the country and its 
inhabitants, all of which the reader will find detailed 
in the traveller's journal. 

Nothing could exceed the kindness and attention 
bestowed upon Mr. Park, during this period, by Karfa 
Taura. He was provided with a comfortable hut, a 
mat-bed, an earthen jar for water, and a calabash 
cup ; with everything, in fact, that is required in that 
simple and primitive society. Every day a slave 
brought him firewood and water, and two ample 
meals ; and every day he was visited by his landlord 
in person, who came to inquire how it fared with the 
sick white man. Thus, when all but overcome by 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 73 

repeated disaster, hunger, and illness, Mr. Park was 
succoured and delivered by this benevolent negro. 

At length, on April 1 9 th, Karfa Taura was ready to 
set out with his coffle of slaves — thirty-five in number. 
It will easily be understood how the remainder of Mr. 
Park's journey was beset with far fewer perils, hard- 
ships, and vicissitudes than the first portion of it had 
been. He was now accompanied by a strong escort ; 
food was forthcoming regularly and in sufficient 
quantity ; and the roads no longer presented the same 
almost insurmountable obstacles to progress which they 
had formerly done. The Jallonka wilderness was 
that part of the route which proved the most fatiguing 
and the most dangerous ; fatiguing from its vastness 
and the density of the forest, and dangerous from the 
number of wild beasts infesting it. 

The route pursued by the caravan led across the 
Bafing or Black River, one of the principal branches 
of the Senegal. This stream was crossed on a very 
curiously constructed bridge of bamboo — a sort of 
floating bridge formed by two high trees, which, when 
fastened together by their topmost boughs, stretched 
from one bank of the river to the other. When a few 
trees are placed in this position and laid with bamboos, 
the whole forms a gangway sloping down from each 
end towards the middle. Such a bridge is well 
adapted to a stream liable to be flooded every season, 
since it can be so quickly and easily constructed. 



74 PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 

After passing through many towns and villages the 
caravan at length reached the Gambia, and on the 
10th of June 1797 Mr. Park was once more in 
Pisania, where, it needs not to be said, he was welcomed 
with the greatest joy — not the less keen because he 
had been almost given up for dead. Dr. Laidley dis- 
charged the traveller's debt to Karfa Taura with large 
interest, giving the negro twice the sum agreed upon. 
Though Karfa Taura had amply deserved this liberal 
treatment, his kindness towards Mr. Park having 
continued to the last, he was greatly overcome by the 
additional recompense. The whole European life at 
Pisania, moreover, made a manifest impression on him: 
and more than once he exclaimed to Mr. Park, with a 
thoughtful look and a sigh : " Fato fing inta feng " 
(Black men are nothing ). 

Mr. Park reached England by a somewhat indirect 
route, embarking in an American ship, the Gharlestown, 
on the loth of June. He was delayed for ten days 
on the island of Antigua, and did not arrive in 
England until the end of November. 

The pleasure of Mr. Park's friends, and, it may be 
said, of the people of England generally, at his safe 
return, hardly exceeded their astonishment ; for all 
hopes of the traveller being still alive were beginning 
to be abandoned. Two years had passed without any 
word of him having reached England. As may be 
imagined, the interest excited by the story he had to 








1 ^llP 1 !' 1 ' 
ill ' 



PARK'S FIRST JOURNEY. 77 

tell was very great among almost all classes of the 
community. The African Association were as proud 
as they were pleased at the success of the expedition 
which had been originated and equipped under their 
auspices ; and the general public were eager to hear 
the stirring tale of travel, adventure, and discovery. 

Park's journey, both in its character and results, was 
the most important that had yet been accomplished. 
The traveller had beheld the Niger, and had definitely 
determined, past all doubt and question, the direction 
of the great river for a large portion of its course. 
He had also collected a mass of information regarding 
Central Africa, which, though not absolutely trust- 
worthy, as subsequent discovery has proved, as far 
exceeded in accuracy as it did in amount the work of 
any previous discoverer. 



CHAPTER III. 

park's second journey. 

Soon after arriving in England, Park set about the 
task of arranging and writing the journal of his 
travels — a work which cost him much time and pains. 

The conditions of his journey, it may be imagined, 
were not favourable to literary composition, and the 
notes made on the way were, accordingly, meagre and 
disjointed ; so that Park had to rely greatly on his 
memory, which was fortunately a retentive one. The 
labour of authorship, moreover, was one which he had 
never before essayed, and composition came only with 
pains. But he was rewarded for the conscientious care 
which he bestowed upon his book by its large sale 
when published ; for it rapidly won its way in the 
popular favour, and brought its author both fame and 
profit. 

Park now settled down into private life, establishing 
himself as a doctor in Peebles. There he performed 
faithfully and diligently the usual duties of a country 
surgeon, doing much hard work for sufficiently scanty 



PARK'S SECOND JOURNEY. 79 

pay. It is worth noting that during this period he 
made the acquaintance of Sir Walter Scott, the two 
men becoming excellent friends. The novelist greatly 
admired the character of the traveller, and has 
recorded his opinion of it in warm terms in the 
"Surgeon's Daughter." 

But though Park conscientiously fulfilled his pro- 
fessional duties in Peebles, there were many indications 
that his heart really lay in other work. His thoughts 
continually went out to the great river of which he 
could justly regard himself as the discoverer, but 
which still lay hid in so much vagueness and mystery. 
He longed to complete the work he had begun — to 
possess the whole secret of the Niger. He was con- 
stantly revolving in his mind the project of a second 
African expedition, which should crown his previous 
labours, and set at rest every geographical problem 
connected with Central Africa. 

It was some time ere Park's hopes and ambitions 
seemed likely to be gratified ; but at length the chance 
he had been waiting for arrived. The English 
Government determined upon sending an expedition 
to Central Africa, and Park was asked to lead it. 
After some delay, caused mainly by a change in the 
administration of the country, Mr. Park was ready to 
set out. He sailed from Portsmouth on the 30 th of 
January 1805, having as companions Mr. Anderson, 
his brother-in-law; and Mr. Scott, the draughtsman of 



80 PARK'S SECOND JOURNEY. 

the expedition. At Goree he secured the services of 
an officer and thirty-five soldiers, who, with some half- 
dozen artificers and two qualified seamen, completed 
the party. 

At Kayee, Park engaged as guide to the expedition 
Isaaco, a Mandingo merchant and priest — a man well 
qualified for the office by his knowledge of inland 
travelling. Pisania was reached on April 28th ; and 
here Mr. Park and his comrades were warmly received 
by Mr. Ainsley, who had been of so much assistance 
to the traveller on his former journey. 

The expedition set out from Pisania on the 4th of 
May. Mr. Park divided his men into six messes. 
Mr. Scott marched with the first division, under whose 
guidance were the asses ; Lieutenant Martyn had 
charge of the centre ; while Mr. Park himself, together 
with Mr. Anderson, brought up the rear. Thus the 
party proceeded, marching by day and pitching their 
tents at night. May the 11th brought them to 
Medina, the chief town of Woolli, where Park had to 
pay a heavy tax of amber and coral to the king. 

At Tambico, Isaaco the guide was plundered, mal- 
treated, and made a prisoner, being at length released 
only by a ransom of considerable value. Shortly after 
this the party suffered a strange but serious enough 
attack from a large swarm of bees, whose onslaught 
was of such violence that six of the asses and one 
horse died from the effects of their stings. 



PARK'S SECOND JOURNEY. 81 

The tribute which the various native kings enforced 
from Mr. Park was greater than he had anticipated ; 
indeed it may be said that the mission was literally- 
plundered on every hand. Difficulties of other kinds, 
too, soon began to beset it, and to increase with every 
stage of its progress. The rains set in, and the health of 
the men began rapidly to deteriorate. This eventuality 
Park had clearly foreseen ; but on various accounts 
he had not deemed it advisable to delay his journey 
until after the wet season. 

In the beginning of June the first death occurred — 
that of a carpenter. A few days later a succession of 
tornadoes, each of exceeding violence, was experi- 
enced, exercising an immediate and marked effect for 
the worse upon the health of the soldiers. This, to 
use Park's own brief fateful words, was the beginning 
of sorrows. 

Fever and dysentery were soon making havoc 
among the men. No one wholly escaped — the leader 
himself suffering with the rest — and before the month 
was over a sad gap was visible in the little party. 
During this period of dire distress, the best qualities 
of the leader shone out conspicuously. Patient, self- 
denying, undaunted, often enduring fatigue that his 
comrades might be spared it, and foregoing rest that 
they might have the more, cheering the sick and 
soothing the dying, Park won the affection and ad- 
miration of all. 

(94) 6 



82 PARK'S SECOND JOURNEY. 

On the 4th of July, Isaaco narrowly escaped being 
devoured by a crocodile. As he was crossing with 
some of the asses the river Wonda, a tributary of the 
Senegal, an alligator caught him by the leg and 
dragged him under. The black man instantly drove 
his finger into the creature's eye ; the brute's grip 
relaxed, and the guide made for the shore. But he 
was not quick enough for his enemy, which once more 
seized him. Isaaco turned, and this time thrust his 
fingers into both eyes of the crocodile, which at once 
quitted its hold and presently swam down the stream. 
But Isaaco's wounds were of so serious a character that 
the party were obliged to halt for four days before he 
was able to proceed. 

On the 19th, the Ba Woolima, a tributary of the 
Senegal, was reached, and safely crossed, after much 
difficulty, by means of an extemporized bridge cleverly 
constructed by the negroes out of two large trees and 
a number of forked sticks. 

Almost daily the expedition dwindled away before 
the extreme hardships and difficulties of the journey — 
chief among which were the fatal effects of the 
climate. By the 19th of August only one-fourth of 
the party survived. Some, at their own request, had 
been left on the road to die, among whom was Mr. 
Scott. Mr. Anderson was soon to follow ; but he had 
the sad satisfaction of at least beholding the Niger 
from afar. At Leniba, from the summit of a range of 



PARK 'S SECOND JO URNE Y. 83 

hills which stretches between the Niger and the Sene- 
gal, the surviving members of the expedition saw the 
great river " rolling its immense stream along the 
plain." 

The sight of the river, which was the goal of their 
journey, inspired the little band with fresh strength 
and courage, and they ventured to hope that their 
hardships were almost at an end. Several more men 
died, however, before Bammakoo was reached, where the 
party embarked in a canoe on the Niger. On the fol- 
lowing day they arrived at Marraboo, where Isaaco's en- 
gagement with the expedition ceased. He was paid 
the reward agreed upon for his services ; and a second 
compact was then made between him and Mr. Park, 
to the effect that he was to receive all the asses and 
horses if he should succeed in securing for the expedi- 
tion the protection of the king of Bambarra and per- 
mission to build a boat. 

Isaaco set out on his mission, and some days passed 
before any word came from Bambarra. Park was 
harassed with doubt and perplexity, but was presently 
relieved by the arrival of an envoy from Sego, the 
capital of Bambarra, who announced that the king 
would be glad to receive the expedition, and accept 
from Mr. Park whatever remaining presents he pro- 
posed to make. 

The reception which the expedition received at Sego 
was on the whole reassuring. The king promised to 



84 PARK'S SECOND JOURNEY. 

sell Mr. Park a canoe ; and after great difficulty and 
delay a suitable vessel was got ready. Mr. Ander- 
son was never to embark in the Joliba — the name 
which was given to the canoe. On the 28th he 
breathed his last. Park's grief and dejection at the 
death of his brother-in-law exceeded in intensity all 
other misfortunes that had befallen him during his 
journey. " No event," he writes, " that took place 
during the journey ever threw the smallest gloom over 
my mind, till I laid Mr. Anderson in the grave. I 
then felt myself a second time lonely and friendless 
amidst the wilds of Africa." 

The party now included five white men only. 
Though now fairly embarked on the Niger, Park, after 
coming through an experience of so much disaster and 
distress, could not but be filled with the most anxious 
forebodings. Still no sign of flinching from his pur- 
pose escaped him. His courage and calmness remained 
unshaken. " Though all the Europeans who are with 
me should die, and though I were myself half dead, I 
would still persevere." Thus he writes to Lord 
Camden ; while his letters to his wife express a like 
resolution to persevere to the death, together with a 
confident hope in the ultimate success of his enter- 
prise. 

Park began his last voyage down the Niger on 
November 17th, 1805. It was long ere any further 
intelligence of the traveller and his comrades reached 



PARK'S SECOND JOURNEY. 85 

England. At last Park's friends became anxious about 
him, and the governor of Sierra Leone, Colonel Max- 
well, despatched Isaaco the guide to inquire after the 
fate of the expedition. At Sansanding, Isaaco met 
Amadi Fatouma, the man who had taken his place as 
guide and enterpreter to the expedition, and received 
from his hands papers which described the voyage of 
the Englishmen down the river. 

Park and his companions reached Silla and Jenne in 
safety ; but at Kabra, the port of Timbuctoo, and at 
Gousamo, they were attacked by the natives, who were 
only repelled by a sharp musket-fire. At Sawer, 
Amadi Fatouma quitted the party, his engagement 
ceasing at that town. Immediately thereafter he was 
seized and imprisoned by the king, on the pretext that 
the expedition had entered his dominions without 
making him sufficient presents. Next morning a large 
battalion of troops was sent forward to intercept the 
English party. 

The native soldiers took up their position at Boussa, 
at a point where the river flowed through a narrow 
and rocky pass. When the English party attempted 
to sail this narrow channel, they were attacked by 
the native troops with spears, arrows, and stones. The 
little band of Englishmen defended themselves vigor- 
ously for some time ; but at length, believing that all 
chance of getting through the channel was over, Park 
caught hold of one of his comrades and leaped with 



86 PARK'S SECOND JOUBNEY. 

him into the river. Lieutenant Martyn followed the 
example of his leader, and all were drowned while 
attempting to escape by swimming. The natives who 
escaped from the canoe narrated the circumstances of 
the final catastrophe to Amadi Fatouma upon the 
release of the latter from his imprisonment three 
months later. 

Isaaco was absent on his mission for fully twenty 
months, and such was the story he brought back with 
him to Sierra Leone. Nearly a quarter of a century 
later Captain Clapperton, and after him Richard and 
John Lander, obtained such evidence in regard to the 
manner of Park's death as placed the truth of Amadi 
Fatouma's statement almost beyond a doubt. 

Thus terminated an expedition conceived under 
hopeful and even brilliant auspices, but opposed by 
disaster from the very beginning ; and thus its gallant 
and noble leader perished. 

The witness of friends is unanimous as to the 
character of Mungo Park ; but such testimony is not 
needed. The man is manifest in his life, and a per- 
usal of his journal reveals to any but the most un- 
discerning reader what manner of person the great 
traveller was. He possessed every qualification for 
the arduous task which he undertook and so success- 
fully accomplished ; for his intrepid courage was 
mingled with the quiet strength of patience, his ardour 
united with a calm prudence, his enthusiasm balanced 



FACSIMILE OF 
SKETCH MAP 



MUNGO PARK'S 
INTENDED ROUTE 

IN HIS SECOND EXPEDITION 



From a Drawing by himself. 




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PARK'S SECOND JOURNEY. 91 

by a shrewd, practical common sense. He was as 
completely fitted morally as he was mentally and 
physically for the great work of his life ; and we make 
bold to say, without fear of challenge, that in no trav- 
eller before or since will there be found a happier 
union and a finer equipoise of the qualities essential 
to a hero of discovery. 

From our narrative the reader may gather how 
Park bore himself in the chief crises of his two arduous 
and perilous journeys ; but he must seek the journal 
itself for a full and clear revelation of the traveller's 
character. We have referred to the fact that the 
work of composition came with difficulty to him, but 
nevertheless the journal is a model of what such a 
work should be. It is written in an easy and natural 
yet animated style, in correct and idiomatic English, 
and with a judgment and good taste that are con- 
spicuous. There is not a vain or boastful line, not 
a self -pitying or impatient sentence in all the book ; 
and this in a record of so much vicissitude, hardship, 
and peril met and overcome. You learn the traveller's 
undaunted courage only from his acts — as simply 
narrated as they are possible to be ; and the modesty 
of the writer is everywhere as noticeable as his courage. 
No one of the innumerable narratives of travel and 
adventure that have appeared since leave a more 
pleasing impression on the reader than the journal of 
Mungo Park. 



CHAPTER IV. 

CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 

In our epitome of African discovery thus far we have 
followed the plan adopted by Mr. Hugh Murray* — that, 
namely, of giving an unbroken and consecutive narra- 
tive of Park's travels ; the reader being thus enabled 
to survey the traveller's career in an uninterrupted 
sequence. Between Park's first and second expedition, 
however, several journeys of exploration were made 
into Central Africa by various travellers. The most 
important of these was that undertaken by Frederick 
Horneman, a young German student, who set out from 
Egypt in the company of a caravan in 1798. Mr. 
Horneman was equipped for his expedition by the 
African Association. At Siwah, an oasis on the way 
to Fezzan, the traveller came upon some very singular 
and ancient ruins, a portion of which some have con- 
jectured to be the remains of the famous temple of 
Jupiter Ammon. Later in his journey he was threat- 

* No one who attempts to treat the subject of African discovery can fail to be 
under obligations to Mr. Hugh Murray, to whose labours and skill we here acknow- 
ledge with gratitude our own indebtedness. 



CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 93 

ened with death at the hands of the Arabs, but his 
remarkable coolness and presence of mind saved him. 
He was so well versed not only in the Mohammedan 
language, but in the tenets of the faith, that, with a 
little adroitness and assurance, he succeeded in making 
the natives believe that he too was a Moslem. 

After a difficult and fatiguing journey of sixteen 
days, Horneman arrived at Fezzan, where he proposed 
to collect information regarding the Niger and Tim- 
buctoo. He subsequently visited Tripoli, and then a 
period of two years passed without any further word 
of the traveller reaching England. He was next 
heard of as being at Kashna ; and Major Denham, 
during his expedition, ascertained that he had died at 
Nyffe on the Niger, stricken down by the climate. 

Horneman was succeeded in the work of African 
exploration by Mr. Nicholls, who died of fever on the 
threshold of his journey. Roentgen, a German, fol- 
lowed, to encounter a fate equally brief and sad. His 
body was found a little way from his starting-point, 
and the probability is that he was murdered by his 
guides. Thus three lives, in quick succession, were 
added to the roll of victims to the cause of African 
discovery. 

The narrative now falls to be resumed at the 
period after Park's second journey. Fatal in its issue 
as that expedition had been, there were many circum- 
stances connected with it calculated rather to stimulate 



94 CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 

than depress the public interest in African exploration. 
Several problems in regard to Central Africa still 
awaited solution; — the exact course of the Niger 
throughout its whole extent, and the relation of the 
same river to the Congo ; were the two rivers in part 
identical, or wholly distinct ? 

To endeavour to determine these points, a twin 
expedition was despatched to Africa under Govern- 
ment auspices in 1816. It was under the command 
of Major Peddie and Captain Tuckey. Major Peddie 
was to descend the Niger, Captain Tuckey to ascend 
the Congo. The expedition encountered difficulties 
and disaster almost from the outset, and had at last 
to be abandoned. A similar fate befell Captain Grey, 
who in 1818 made a gallant but unsuccessful attempt 
to follow Park's route. 

Nothing further of importance was accomplished 
until the missions of Major Denham and Lieutenant 
Clapperton in 1821, which proposed to explore 
Central Africa, with Tripoli as a starting-point. The 
expedition divided itself into two parties — the plan 
that had been resolved on being that each should 
pursue a separate route and meet again at an agreed 
point. Major Denham's journey proved a most varied 
and adventurous one, and furnished a great deal of 
fresh and interesting information regarding the 
country traversed. But Denham's discoveries did not 
bear directly upon the Niger, and must, therefore, in 



GLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 95 

the comparatively limited space at our disposal, be 
excluded from our narrative. The two journeys made 
by Lieutenant Clapperton, however, fall to be treated 
in more detail. 

When Clapperton parted from his confrere, Major 
Denham, he travelled westward in company with Dr. 
Oudney, the second in command of the party. At 
Murmur Dr. Oudney died, and Clapperton pushed on 
alone. After five weeks of travel Kano was reached 
— a large and important town of thirty thousand 
inhabitants, carrying on an extensive and varied com- 
merce with all parts of Africa. Clapperton found the 
markets of Kano filled with a profusion of articles 
whose richness and variety astonished him, — cloth of 
every description, raw silk, linen from Egypt em- 
broidered with gold, Moorish dresses, Maltese sword- 
blades, tin and antimony, ornaments in glass, coral, 
silver, and pewter, besides live stock and farm and 
garden produce, and everywhere long rows of slaves. 

Lieutenant Clapperton next halted at Sackatoo, a 
large and substantially built town. Here he made 
handsome presents to Sultan Bello — a chief described 
as being of stately appearance, with a grand head and 
fine dark eyes. He received the expedition well, and 
showed himself to be possessed of an inquiring mind, 
and a degree of enlightenment much beyond his 
order. 

On the advice of this chief, Clapperton resolved to 



96 CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 

proceed no further at present than Sackatoo, having 
become convinced that the route to the Gulf of Benin 
was impracticable. Before finally leaving Sackatoo 
he gathered such information in regard to Park's 
death as convinced him that Amadi Fatouma's story 
was in all essential particulars true. At Kouka he 
rejoined Major Denham ; and the two travellers, having 
each accomplished a long and arduous journey, fruit- 
ful in interesting discoveries, reached England in June 
1825, after an absence of nearly four years. 

The results of Denham and Clapperton's expedi- 
tions were sufficiently encouraging to induce the British 
Government to equip another mission in the very year 
of the travellers' return. Clapperton — now a Captain — 
was chosen as leader, with Captain Pearce and Mr. 
Morrison as his colleagues in command. The party 
started on their journey from Badagry early in Decem- 
ber. The start was most disastrous ; for the travellers 
having slept a night in the open air were presently 
prostrated with fever and ague. Mr. Morrison was 
obliged to give up the idea of accompanying the 
expedition, and died on the way back to the ship. 
Captain Pearce struggled on bravely a little longer, 
but at last succumbed ; and Captain Clapperton, him- 
self much weakened by his sickness, pursued his 
journey under peculiarly lonely and depressing con- 
ditions. But he had one faithful and devoted com- 
panion left in his servant Richard Lander, whose name 



CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 97 

in connection with African discovery was one day to 
become even more famous than that of his master. 

A march of sixty miles brought the little party to 
Yarriba, where the travellers were most favourably 
received, the people flocking to meet them in every 
town through which they passed, and signifying the 
honour in which they held the white men by dancing, 
festivals, and merry-making. 

The next place of importance reached was Tshow. 
Here the expedition was overtaken by a bodyguard 
sent on by the king of Yarriba, consisting of a number 
of the royal troops dressed in the most fantastic of 
uniforms, and presenting a wild and formidable appear- 
ance beyond description. 

At Katunga, Captain Clapperton had an audience 
of the king of Yarriba, who received the Englishmen 
seated in a veranda. The monarch wore a paste- 
board crown, two long tobes, or mantles, of cotton cloth, 
and a profusion of glass-bead ornaments. He was 
surrounded by troops of his wives — more in number 
than Captain Clapperton could account — who wel- 
comed the stranger with great cheering, smiling on 
him the while with the utmost graciousness. 

Captain Clapperton found Yarriba to be a flourish- 
ing and prosperous kingdom, justly and leniently 
governed, and practising few of the dark and barbar- 
ous customs common in Ashantee and Dahomey and 
many neighbouring states. Polygamy, to be sure.. 

(94) 7 



98 CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 

largely prevails. And when Captain Clapperton as- 
sured several of the chief men of Katunga that the 
king of England had but one wife, the statement was 
received with mingled amazement and pity that so 
great a sovereign should be in so forlorn and desolate 
a case. The king of Yarriba was proud to think 
that his own wives, hand joined in hand, would 
stretch from one end of his dominions to the other. 

From Yarriba Clapperton passed into the Borgoo 
country, presently arriving at the city of Kiama, an 
important place of thirty thousand inhabitants. The 
party was met by the king himself, accompanied by a 
peculiar but striking bodyguard. Six young girls 
wearing girdles of beads, and with their hair bound 
with fillets, ran beside the king's horse, each maiden 
brandishing three spears. As they ran they bounded 
and leaped with a lightness and agility that had the 
appearance of flying, while their motions were as full 
of grace as swiftness, and their eyes sparkled with 
vivacity. By-and-by the damsels, laying aside their 
lances, robed themselves in blue mantles and waited 
on the king. 

After departing from Kiama, Captain Clapperton 
and his companions reached Wa-wa. Here the most 
amusing episode certainly in the whole journey oc- 
curred. A certain wealthy widow, called Zuma, con- 
ceived a violent affection for the leader of the expedi- 
tion, whom she favoured with a degree of attention 



CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 99 

that became nothing short of persecution. The widow, 
though little past her twentieth year, was a lady of 
more than embonpoint — of such ample proportions, in 
fact, that Captain Clapperton could find no fitter 
comparison for her than a ' walking tun-butt." This 
pronounced style of beauty Zuma emphasized by her 
manner of dressing, loading her person with bright 
and gaudy finery, and a profusion of ornaments of 
gold, coral, and beads ; while her hair she dyed blue, 
her eyebrows black, and her hands and feet red. 

Thus equipped, the widow laid siege to Captain 
Clapperton's heart, which, however, remained proof 
against her most cunning blandishments. Finding 
the chief of the expedition impregnable, she directed 
the battery of her smiles upon his lieutenant and 
servant Richard Lander ; but with a like result. 
Lander was an extremely prudent and cool-tempered 
young man ; and Zuma's charms, which were still 
noticeable notwithstanding her extreme plumpness, 
made no impression upon him. The lady now re- 
newed her attack upon Captain Clapperton with fresh 
energy, and nothing short of flight from Wa-wa rid 
the Englishman of her persecutions. Signs were not 
wanting that other considerations besides those of 
affection influenced the widow's action. It was 
rumoured that she cherished ambitious designs of 
supplanting the king upon his throne — a project in 
which she trusted to be materially aided by marriage 



100 CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 

with a young and brave Englishman. Altogether, 
Captain Clapperton experienced a very decided feel- 
ing of relief when he was finally rid of this ambitious 
and redoubtable African beauty. 

Clapperton presently visited Boussa, the scene of 
Park's death ; but sufficient reference has already 
been made to this episode in his journey. Crossing 
the Niger, and passing through Nyffe, the mission ar- 
rived at Zeg-zeg, an exceedingly fertile region, beau- 
tifully wooded, and rich with meadow and corn-land. 

The next halt was at Kano, Clapperton's old 
quarters, which he now found in all the distress and 
confusion of war. The king of Bornou was at deadly 
feud with the Fellata, and the travellers beheld signs 
of battle on every side. At the sultan's advice Cap- 
tain Clapperton betook himself with his companions 
to Sackatoo, and was there lodged in the same hut 
which he had formerly occupied. This was the 
traveller's last halting-place. It was not to be per- 
mitted him to complete the journey which he had 
thus far carried through with such intrepidity and 
with so much success. He was exhausted by illness ; 
but other causes besides bodily weakness combined to 
depress him. 

The kindly and sympathetic attitude of the natives 
towards the English mission, which we saw so con- 
spicuously displayed during Captain Clapperton's 
previous journey, had now changed to a feeling of 



CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 101 

suspicion and distrust. A rumour, entirely without 
foundation, was abroad throughout Houssa that the 
British nation meditated an invasion of the country. 
Influenced by this idea, King Bello now acted with 
great discourtesy and harshness towards Captain Clap- 
perton, seizing by force a letter which he was bearing 
to the king of Bornou. Clapperton bitterly resented 
this treatment, and spoke his mind out very freely to 
the king ; which only had the effect of still further 
irritating the jealous and angry prince. The English- 
man was detained as a prisoner, and even threatened 
with personal violence ; but matters did not reach 
this extreme. 

Thus disappointment and vexation, chafing Clapper- 
ton's eager and brave spirit, united with sickness to 
wear out a frame already debilitated by the long 
effects of an African climate. He was prostrated 
with dysentery, which presently took a fatal develop- 
ment. The closing scenes of the traveller's life form 
a very touching picture. He was nursed day and 
night by his servant Richard Lander with more than 
a woman's watchfulness and gentle care. Towards 
the end the dying man called Lander to his side. 

" Richard, I shall shortly be no more. I feel my- 
self dying," he said. 

Almost choked with grief, Lander could only reply, 
" God forbid, my dear master ; you will live many 
years yet." 



102 CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 

" Don't be so much affected, my dear boy, I entreat 
you," answered Clapperton. " It is the will of the 
Almighty ; it cannot be helped." 

Then the dying master proceeded to instruct his 
attendant in regard to his journals and the course he 
wished him to pursue after he was dead. Finally, 
taking Lander's hand in his own, he gazed into his 
face, and with his eyes moist with tears said in low 
and deeply-affected voice, — 

" My dear Richard, if you had not been with me I 
should have died long ago. I can only thank you 
with my latest breath for your kindness and attach- 
ment to me ; and if I could have lived to return with 
you, you should have been placed beyond the reach of 
want ; but God will reward you." 

A few days later the brave traveller quietly 
breathed his last. The strong attachment which 
existed between Clapperton and Lander is evident in 
various letters from the former to the latter, in which 
the master expresses an affectionate desire for the 
welfare and happiness of his servant most pleasing to 
contemplate. Clapperton was a kind and large- 
hearted man, as well as one of most fearless courage, 
capable of great patience under difficulty and disaster, 
and of a bright and buoyant temperament that carried 
him lightly through many a delicate and trying 
situation. 

After Clapperton's death King Bello's attitude to- 



CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 103 

wards the expedition softened somewhat. He allowed 
Lander to bury his master quietly and decently, suf- 
fered him to depart from the country, and even for- 
warded him on his homeward route. After a journey 
of considerable vicissitude and danger, in the course 
of which he made a praiseworthy but unsuccessful 
attempt to discover the termination of the Niger, 
Richard Lander reached the coast, and arrived in 
England in April 1828. 

Brief mention must in this place be made of Major 
Laing's journey to Timbuctoo, which was contempo- 
raneous with Clapperton's second expedition. During 
his short stay at Timbuctoo, Laing was able to add 
materially to our knowledge of the topography of the 
district. The traveller's journey had the same tragic 
and sad ending as that of so many of his predecessors. 
He was murdered by his guide, a Moorish merchant, 
who had undertaken to conduct him to the coast. 

It will be seen that there still existed much 
uncertainty in regard to the course of the Niger. 
What was accurately known was this : — In his first 
journey, Park had traced the course of the river be- 
tween Bammakoo and Silla, and had also ascertained 
that it rose in the same mountainous range a"s the 
Senegal. In his second expedition he determined the 
river's course below Silla as far as Timbuctoo. Clap- 
perton had fixed the position of Boussa beyond Tim- 
buctoo, but the actual course of the river between those 



104 CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 

two towns remained still to be explored. It was re- 
served for Richard and John Lander to determine this 
still undiscovered portion of the great river. The 
three most famous names connected with the Niger 
are undoubtedly those of Park, and Richard and John 
Lander, if we regard the work accomplished from the 
point of view of its success. The Landers, in a word, 
completed what Park had begun ; and the important 
results of their expedition, as well as its intrinsic 
interest, deserve that it should be treated with as 
much detail as our remaining space will allow. 

The British Government having resolved to equip 
an expedition for the purpose of exploring the Niger 
below Boussa, Richard Lander volunteered his services 
as its leader. He was accompanied by his younger 
brother John, to whom a due measure of the honour of 
the expedition must in justice be accorded, and who not 
only shared with his elder brother every toil and hard- 
ship, but materially assisted him with his journals. 

The brothers sailed from England in January 1830, 
and arrived at Cape Coast Castle towards the end of 
the following month. Accompanied by a small party 
of natives and the interpreter Pascoe, they reached 
Badagry on the 21st of March. Here they remained 
for several days, detained by the king, whose rapacity 
would not permit him to let the Englishmen quit his 
dominions while he could extract from them another 
present. 



CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 105 

This region the travellers describe as a fertile and 
beautiful one, but its people as idle, covetous, and lax 
in moral tone. Their religion is largely the Moham- 
medan ; and the Landers, during their sojourn in 
Badagiy, witnessed certain of their ceremonial ob- 
servances. 

The ensemble of the scene presented a spectacle of 
no little interest, from its novelty and strangeness. 
On a sandy tract of ground encircled by trees the 
travellers discovered a number of Mussulmans in the 
act of ablution and worship. Every company of fresh 
arrivals was greeted by a burst of music from a native 
band. Every one wore his gayest bravery — loose 
mantles, caps and turbans in the greatest variety, and 
of the gaudiest colours ; while the scarfs and aprons 
of the worshippers glittered with golden embroidery 
and silver spangles. At the conclusion of the cere- 
mony, drums, bells, and fifes combined with volleys 
of musketry to raise a deafening din. 

The chief industry of Badagry is fishing, together 
with yam and maize growing. The fish is taken 
either with the net or by spearing, or by a curious 
and ingenious earthenware pot baited with palm oil. 
The huts of the natives are of neat construction, made 
of bamboo, and roofed with palm leaves. 

The travellers left Badagry on the last day of 
March in a canoe lent them by the king, Adooley. 
Slowly they glided in their long narrow vessel down 



106 CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 

the silent river, a starry sky and a bright moon guid- 
ing them on their way. The scenery was wild and 
picturesque, but could not be described as grand, the 
river banks being low and partially wooded with 
small trees, varied ever and anon by one of larger 
growth — a majestic palm rising in solitary grandeur, 
its stately plume of foliage waving softly in the night 
wind. Now and then a slave-factory or a fetich-hut 
was noted as the canoe floated noiselessly on. 

In a little while the river narrowed to a breadth of 
not more than twenty yards, while its surface became 
covered with a wealth of marine plants, from which 
there arose, in a dense cloud, a reeking and noxious 
miasma. But the stream again broadened, the float- 
ing plants disappeared, the vegetation on the banks 
grew richer and more beautiful, until the trees were 
so thick that they formed an arch above the heads of 
the voyagers that effectually shielded them from the 
hot sun. The river now abounded with alligators 
and hippopotami, while monkeys and parrots, wild 
ducks and other birds, were seen on all sides. 

On the 6th of April the two brothers reached Jenne, 
where they were hospitably entertained by the gover- 
nor. The inhabitants of this district are described as 
temperate and diligent — diligent, that is, for a people 
dwelling in a land where but a slight amount of 
labour yields a sufficient sustenance for daily wants. 

Katunga was reached on the 13th of May. King 



CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 109 

Mansolah received the mission favourably. On the 
occasion of the travellers' first audience with this chief 
he was dressed in a style of great, though somewhat 
incongruous, magnificence. His crown resembled in 
shape a bishop's mitre, and was decorated with a pro- 
fusion of coral beads, and secured beneath the chin to 
prevent it from falling off. His mantle was a wonder- 
ful patchwork of green silk, crimson damask, and 
green velvet. His feet were clad in English cotton 
stockings, and native sandals of neat workmanship ; 
and beneath him was spread a carpet of fine blue 
cloth, the gift of Captain Clapperton. 

In the end of May the expedition halted at Kiama, 
entering a region whose people differed in many re- 
spects — in language, customs, and religion — from 
those among whom their route had hitherto led them. 
Here the brothers were accommodated in a large cir- 
cular hut, the centre support of which was composed 
of the stem of a tree. Two apertures gave entrance 
and egress to the hut, over which charms were sus- 
pended as a security against fire, much in the same 
way as horse-shoes are still, in our enlightened Eng- 
land, nailed up over barn doors for " luck." The 
walls of the cabin were covered with bows and 
quivers, guns, swords, spears, and other weapons. 
Outside, the scene was sufficiently novel and strik- 
ing. Although a thunderstorm was at its height, 
native men, women, and children were seated in 



110 CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 

groups on the ground, or gathered about several large 
fires asleep. The men carried their weapons by their 
sides, and their horses grazed near at hand, while the 
lurid firelight lit up the half-naked figures of all. 

Presently entering Kiama, the Landers had an audi- 
ence of King Yarro, who received them alone, seated 
on buffalo hides. The walls of the room were deco- 
rated with well-executed prints of King George the 
Fourth, the Duke of York, Lord Nelson, the Duke of 
Wellington, and a portrait of a gaily-dressed and 
smiling English lady. Here and there on the walls 
were fastened ragged scraps of paper inscribed with 
passages from the Koran. The floor was strewn con- 
fusedly with muskets, handsomely ornamented spears, 
and other weapons of war. 

The travellers, departing from Kiama, reached a 
place called Kakafungi, a large straggling town, finely 
situated on a level plain, the inhabitants of which 
were so clean in their persons, so well-mannered, and 
possessed of such neat and comfortable houses, that 
the Englishmen were immediately prepossessed in 
their favour. These first impressions were but 
strengthened by the subsequent conduct of the Kaka- 
fungians. The travellers were provided with a capital 
hut, and their entertainers waited on them in a body, 
bringing with them two kids and an ample supply of 
corn and milk, the whole being presented by a little 
band of boys and girls ! 



CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. Ill 

On the 17th of June, Boussa was reached — an im- 
portant stage in the journey, by reason of the inter- 
esting relics of Mr. Park which were here discovered. 
As the two brothers sat on the rocky promontory 
overlooking the spot where Park and his comrades 
met their death, serious and sad thoughts could not 
but arise in their breasts, as they recalled the fate not 
only of the peerless explorer Park himself, but of the 
many gallant men who had followed in his track and 
sacrificed their lives for the same end — the endeavour 
to unriddle the mystery of the strange and fateful 
river on whose waters they were now gazing. 

The travellers received from a native a tobe of rich 
crimson damask, stiff with the quantity of gold em- 
broidery upon it, which there was strong evidence to 
prove had belonged to Mr. Park. A day or two later 
the travellers received a visit from the king, bringing 
with him a book said to have been recovered from the 
water after the upsetting of the canoe which held Park 
and his companions. The volume was wrapped up in 
a cotton cloth, and was of considerable size. The 
hopes of the Landers rose high that the book would 
prove to be Mr. Park's journal, and their disappoint- 
ment was proportionately great on discovering that it 
was only an obsolete nautical treatise. Between the 
leaves, however, a few slight relics of the great 
traveller were found — one or two papers of no intrinsic 
importance, but bearing his handwriting and signature. 



112 CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 

Some days afterwards, at Yaoorie, a gun which had 
been Mr. Park's was also recovered, one of the Landers 
giving his own in exchange for it to an Arab in whose 
possession it was. 

After some delay two canoes were procured by the 
brothers, for their return voyage from Yaoorie. Boussa 
was again reached on the 5th of August ; and the 
Landers now resolved to make for Wowou, to procure 
a vessel better adapted for their purpose than those 
which they at present possessed. They were ultimately 
successful in this plan, though the arrival of the 
canoe promised them by the king of Wowou did not 
take place until the middle of the following month. On 
the 20th of September, everything being at length in 
readiness, the explorers embarked from Boussa in two 
canoes. But a short span of their voyage was accom- 
plished when it was discovered that the smaller of the 
canoes was extremely leaky and in risk of sinking : 
and at midday therefore a halt had to be made at a 
little island called Melalie, in order to cobble up the 
boat. The next camping-place was on a large and 
beautiful island called Patashie, remarkably rich and 
fertile, and shady with groves of magnificent palms. 

Having procured a water-tight canoe, the voyagers 
were once more afloat upon the river, and for some 
distance sailed on without delay or hindrance. Ar- 
riving at Lever, or, as the town is frequently called. 
Layaba, they remained till the beginning of October. 



CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 113 

Here the channel of the Niger was deep and clear, 
and its breadth from one to three miles. 

On October the 4th a large town was reached called 
Bajiebo, to which the Landers give the palm among 
African towns for confusion and dirt, and disagreeables 
of every description. Here the travellers saw canoes 
of a peculiar description, different from any they had 
yet met with. They were large, made each of a single 
tree-stem, and bulwarked high with planks. Many of 
the canoes had huts built on them, thatched with 
straw, in which whole families lived together, carrying 
on their whole household operations. 

On October 6 th, on departing from the island of 
Madjie, where the travellers had camped for the night, 
they journeyed swiftly down the river, and presently 
came suddenly in sight of a lofty and picturesque 
rock called Mount Kesa ; which, rising sheer from the 
water to a height of three hundred feet, cone-shaped 
and girdled with stately trees, made an exceedingly 
noble and imposing feature in the landscape. 

The voyagers next reached the island of Belee, 
where they had an interview with the chief, an im- 
portant personage in his own estimation, and rejoicing 
in a high-sounding but not unpoetical title — the King 
of the Dark Water. This chieftain made an imposing 
approach to the travellers. A sound of men singing 
was heard in the distance, then the dip of paddles 
keeping time to the voices, but still nothing was seen. 

©0 8 



114 CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 

Presently a canoe came in sight, then a second and 
much larger one, rowed by a score of stalwart youths, 
who sang as they rowed. The travellers were sur- 
prised at the " pomp and circumstance " of the whole 
procession, the royal barge being gaily ornamented 
with awnings and scarlet cloth embroidered with gold 
lace. Three or four young pages, becomingly attired, 
stood at the prow, and in the stern a band of hand- 
some musicians. All the retinue were well and ap- 
propriately dressed. 

The King of the Dark Water, whose name was 
Suliken Rouah, treated the travellers with kingly 
munificence, presenting them with a jar of fine honey, 
two thousand cowries in money, and a large quantity 
of goora nuts, a description of food highly esteemed in 
Africa. He was a man of venerable and commanding 
appearance, and by reason of his wealth and power 
was no doubt entitled to the importance to which he 
laid claim. 

The Landers at this stage of their journey exchanged 
their two canoes for one, and once more embarked on 
the river. They had sailed about thirty miles when 
they came upon a perfect swarm of hippopotami, which 
rose on all sides of the canoe, plunging, splashing, and 
snorting, and placing the frail vessel in great danger. 
A shot or two was fired at the great brutes, but only 
with the result of summoning a fresh horde up from 
the depths of the river and out of the neighbouring 



CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 115 

marshes. The natives in the canoe became terror- 
struck ; and to add to the panic, a violent thunder- 
storm, succeeded by dense darkness, only illumined by 
occasional lightning flashes, burst suddenly over the 
heads of the party. The rowers pulled as for life, 
however, and after some hard rowing the swarm of 
hippopotami was left behind, and a little fishing village 
was reached, where the voyagers very gladly landed. 

On October 19th Egga was reached, a town of great 
extent, in the centre of a fertile and fruitful region. 
Here the Englishmen were kindly enough treated by 
the aged king, a good-natured and gay-hearted old 
man, who bore a long tale of years with astonishing- 
vigour and lightness of spirit. For the delectation of 
his guests, and also.no doubt to display his unabated 
activity, the merry old chief performed a pas seul in 
their presence with surprising agility and nimbleness, 
until he seemed literally to " frisk beneath the burden" 
of his years. 

After leaving Egga, the next place at which the 
Landers camped was Kacunda. About this point in 
its course the Niger changes its direction to south- 
south-west ; and forty miles farther on it is joined by 
the Ishadda, by the influx of which the width of the 
main river is increased to between three and four miles. 

By the end of October Damugoo was reached, where 
the Landers were very well received by the chief, who 
provided them with a canoe and a crew to conduct 



116 CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 

them to the coast. Shortly after leaving Damugoo 
the expedition had an unexpected encounter with a 
party of hostile natives near a large market town 
called Kirree. A fleet of canoes were observed moored 
by the banks of the river — of large size, and having 
flags flying from bamboo poles. No notice was taken 
of these canoes, but a little while afterwards the 
voyagers beheld a number of them coming up the 
river full of men, and decorated with flags. The 
travellers were allowing themselves to enjoy the lively 
and pleasing appearance presented by this native 
flotilla, when their feelings of gratification were 
quickly changed by the sudden warlike demonstra- 
tions of the advancing canoes. 

A large canoe was quickly alongside that of the 
travellers, and with marvellous rapidity the whole of 
their property was transferred from one boat to the 
other. This unceremonious treatment was altogether 
too much for the temper of the Englishmen, and 
despite the enormous odds against them they began 
to show fight. Richard Lander, taking deliberate aim 
with his musket at the leader of the savages, a tall 
brawny fellow, would the next moment have sent a 
bullet through his body had not the weapon been 
wrested from his grasp by three more of the black 
men. Then Lander seized hold of another man, while 
Pascoe, the guide, with a well-aimed blow of his paddle, 
sent an opponent reeling backward into the canoe. 



CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 117 

Daunted by the determined resistance of the white 
men, the men in the canoes made no further attack 
upon them. But the Landers had now lost every- 
thing ; — clothes, medicine-chest, four guns (including 
that of Mr. Park) ; four cutlasses, two pistols, a number 
of very fine elephants' tusks (a present from the 
kings of Wowou and Boussa) ; a quantity of leopard 
skins, ostrich feathers, cowries, and other valuables ; 
and finally, what was as serious a loss as any, the 
greater part of Richard Lander's journal. 

In these disastrous circumstances the travellers 
determined to land at a town called Kirree, where, 
having reported the whole proceedings, they were in- 
formed that their case would be taken into considera- 
tion by the chief men. The Englishmen found friends 
at Kirree ready to sympathize with and aid them, and 
a palaver having been held, the outcome of the matter 
was, that the offenders, the robbers who had so shame- 
lessly plundered the white men, were punished, and a 
part of their stolen property was recovered by the 
travellers. On the whole, this was perhaps the most 
threatening and disastrous episode in the journey ; 
for not only had the Landers suffered serious loss of 
property, but had been in instant peril of their lives. 

The voyagers arrived next at Eboe. Shortly before 
reaching the town they passed through a vast sheet of 
water like a lake, with low, swampy margin, thickly 
clothed with palm-trees. Here a considerable river, 



118 CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 

forming an important tributary of the Niger, flowed 
westward, while another took a south-easterly direction. 

At Eboe the Landers were detained by King Obie, 
who, seeing an opportunity of obtaining a valuable 
ransom, was determined not to let it escape him. He 
required a present of English goods equivalent in 
value to twenty slaves. The brothers were both 
amazed and disconcerted by the amount of this de- 
mand, being entirely without hope of satisfying it. 
The prospect before them was gloomy in the extreme 
— indefinite detention at Eboe; but from their critical 
situation they were at length released by the inter- 
vention of King Boy of Brass Town, who promised to 
pay the sum demanded by King Obie, and to conduct 
the travellers safely to the end of their journey, if he 
was guaranteed a present equal to fifteen slaves, and 
the addition of a cask of rum on the arrival of the 
Englishmen at the coast. To this compact of King 
Boy the Landers very gladly agreed, and the travel- 
lers departed from Eboe conducted by King Boy. 

At Brass Town the travellers were witnesses of a 
curious fetich ceremony. The priests began their 
operations by chalking King Boy from head to foot 
with circles, lines, and various fantastic devices, that 
so completely disguised his majesty that he was 
scarcely recognizable. Then having been disrobed of 
his usual dress, a small silk handkerchief was bound 
about his waist, while on his head was placed a close- 



CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 119 

fitting cap, decorated with the white and black feathers 
of a buzzard. When the king had taken in his hands 
two large chalked spears, his ensemble was as wild and 
strange as it was grotesque. His retinue were then 
similarly operated on, and finally the fetich priests 
themselves. 

John Lander remained behind at Brass Town, while 
Richard proceeded to the coast. The English brig 
Thomas was lying at anchor in the Nun, a branch of 
the Niger, and Richard Lander immediately laid his 
position before the commander, Captain Lake, little 
doubting but that he would furnish means whereby 
King Boy's claims would be satisfied. In this hope 
he was grievously disappointed, Captain Lake showing 
a want of sympathy with the brothers in their strait 
for which it is difficult to account. He absolutely 
refused to advance the sum due to King Boy for his 
services ; and Richard and John Lander, the latter of 
whom had now arrived from Brass Town, were obliged 
to depart in the brig, leaving King Boy in bitterness 
and dejection of spirit at not having received his pro- 
mised reward. Nothing which the travellers could 
say availed to assure the chief that sooner or later he 
would receive the whole sum due to him ; but on the 
return of the Landers to England, King Boy was paid 
his debt in full and with interest. 

The travellers reached home on the 10th of June 
1831. The success of their expedition was complete 



120 CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS, 

and indisputable, and the brothers Lander received 
from their countrymen the full measure of honours 
which they had so fairly earned. They had solved 
the problem of African exploration which had baffled 
so many previous travellers as courageous and enter- 
prising but less fortunate than they, and had supplied 
the last link to the chain necessary to complete our 
knowledge of the Niger. 

The journey of the Landers was far from being an 
easy and successful one throughout. In a rapid sketch 
of the expedition such as the foregoing, the many 
difficulties of the journey — the almost daily hardship, 
the sickness, the weariness, the disappointments, the 
frequent dejection and loneliness of spirit inseparable 
from African travel, all of which are rather matter of 
detail — do not fully appear. But a perusal of the 
travellers' journal itself reveals the innumerable 
obstacles with which the two brothers had to contend, 
and which only great fortitude, judgment, patience, 
and tact could have overcome. The written account 
of the expedition comprises a part of the journal of 
each of the brothers, and is written in a lively and 
interesting style, that portion contributed by John 
Lander, who had received a better education, and pos- 
sessed greater literary facility than his elder brother, 
being especially marked by a fertile fancy and a 
power of vivid description. 

Richard Lander was to take part in yet one other 



CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 121 

African expedition. A scheme having been set on 
foot by a number of Liverpool merchants, whereby 
they hoped that commercial relations might be estab- 
lished with the natives along the banks of the Niger, 
two steamboats were fitted out — the Quorra and the 
Alburkah. The services of Richard Lander as leader 
of the enterprise were accepted. Messrs. Laird and 
Oldfield were second in command, and a strong party 
of other Europeans completed the expedition, which 
left England in July 1832. 

The narrative of the voyage of the Quorra and the 
Alburkah, as told by Messrs. Laird and Oldfield, is 
full of interest. The expedition halted at many of 
the places visited by the Landers and other travellers, 
and had negotiations with several of the native chiefs 
already mentioned in these pages. Among the most 
interesting episodes in the voyage was an interview 
with King Obie, whose name the reader will recall in 
connection with the homeward journey of the Landers. 
In that instance the African chief had displayed a 
considerable degree of extortion as regards the value 
of the present which he demanded from the travellers, 
but in his dealings with the present mission he showed 
himself extremely conciliatory and amiable. 

King Obie met the English party, richly arrayed in 
scarlet cloth, and adorned with massive coral chains, 
bracelets, and other ornaments, amounting in value to 
nearly one hundred pounds. Having shaken hands 



122 CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 

with Mr. Lander and Mr. Laird with great cordiality, 
he placed one on each side of his throne. The English- 
men were surprised at the pleasant and " gentlemanly" 
manner of King Obie ; the latter epithet being most 
fairly applicable to the chief's whole conduct towards 
the travellers, for it was uniformly considerate and 
generous both in good and evil fortune. 

The English party received from King Obie a 
present of a fine bullock, five goats, and three hundred 
yams. On the following morning a pleasing proof of 
the regular industry of King Obie's subjects was wit- 
nessed. At sunrise a large number of canoes of all 
sizes left the town, to collect palm oil, yams, and other 
commodities of the country ; and towards evening the 
fleet — in number not less than a hundred and fifty — 
were seen dropping down the river again, laden with 
their cargoes of yams, bananas, and gourds full of 
palm oil. 

On that day King Obie paid a visit to Mr. Lander 
on the Alburkah. His escort consisted of seven large 
war-canoes filled with rowers. Having dined with 
Mr. Lander, the chief remained some hours on board 
the vessel, and finally took his leave under a royal 
salute. He was escorted home by two of the sailors, 
whom he entertained at his own house with palm oil 
and roasted yams. This cordiality and good-fellowship 
were not confined to the king ; all his subjects vied 
in their attentions to the members of the expedition. 



CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 125 

As a commercial enterprise this mission — the last 
which we are to consider — proved a failure. The 
attempt to establish a trade intercourse with Central 
Africa came to nothing. Yet the expedition was not 
without results; the most important of which was, that 
it proved beyond a doubt that the mighty stream of 
the Niger was navigable for purposes of commerce 
from its mouth as far as Boussa. 

Our rapid survey of African discovery in one im- 
portant direction has, we trust, proved how deeply 
interesting is the whole subject of African exploration. 
Since the date of the formation of the African Associa- 
tion the world's interest in the " Dark Continent " has 
continued to grow and deepen, down to the present 
day. This interest is undoubtedly a healthy and 
natural one — it is an interest in the spread of knowl- 
edge, of civilization, and of Christianity. The vast 
African continent has year by year grown a little less 
" dark;" and as nation by nation and tribe by tribe of 
its dusky millions are reclaimed from darkness and 
linked to the rest of the discovered world, it is to 
emerge, we may surely hope, into the light of civiliza- 
tion, and finally of Christianity. 

Our narrative has shown how many noble and gal- 
lant lives have been spent and lost in one field of 
African exploration ; and to these must be added all 
those lost in other directions of the same work. But 
who shall say they have been lives vainly sacrificed? 



126 CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 

Are they not all to be reckoned rather as parts of that 
vicarious sacrifice without which, it would seem, the 
progress of the world cannot subsist ? 

Even this brief narrative has, we think, furnished 
abundant proof of how capable the negro race is of 
humanizing influences ; and the story of African dis- 
covery generally bears witness to the same fact. From 
Park to Moffat, and from Moffat to Stanley, the jour- 
nals of every African traveller contain testimony more 
or less ample and conclusive to the truth of our state- 
ment. In these pages we have seen the African native 
sometimes fickle and inconstant, wily and rapacious ; 
but we have seen him far more often gentle and 
faithful, warm-hearted and compassionate. We recall 
Park, again and again ministered to in hunger, naked- 
ness, and sickness, with tender and pitying care ; the 
brothers Lander, helped and cheered on their journey 
by many a deed of gentleness or of generosity ; we 
think of Livingstone, spending years in the heart of 
the African wilderness, a solitary and lonely white 
man, without a single comrade of his own race to 
share his exile, but tended by his dark-skinned com- 
panions with the most watchful solicitude, loved and 
reverenced in life as a father and a teacher, and 
mourned in death with a sorrow at once too simple 
and too deep to be doubted ; we remember Stanley in 
his adventurous and perilous journey testifying again 
and again that never had he known more faithful 



CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 127 

and devoted comradeship than that which he re- 
ceived from his negro companions ; — and recalling 
these and a hundred kindred instances, the unpreju- 
diced and candid mind must acknowledge that the 
negro character is capable of a high degree of af- 
fection, of gentleness, of self-sacrifice, devotion, and 
nobility. 

Since the attention of England was first turned to 
the subject of African exploration much time and 
money and life has been spent in the work; but who, 
we repeat, will choose to say that either the time or 
the money or even the life has been wasted, if by their 
loss Africa is now emerging from the darkness of 
heathendom and savagery into the light of civilization, 
gentleness, and truth ? 

Volunteers for the work of African discovery have 
never failed — they are as promptly forthcoming now 
as they ever were ; and almost every year witnesses 
some fresh and splendid achievement in this field of 
geographical enterprise. The records of African ex- 
ploration furnish examples of courage and endurance, 
of patience, self -discipline, and self-sacrifice, that rise 
to the highest heroism : hardship, disaster, and death 
itself have never dismayed the African pioneer. When 
the last hero has ended his career only in a grave in 
the wilderness, a successor has never been wanting to 
tread in the same path. The torch has been passed 
on from one victorious or from one dying hand to 



128 CLAPPERTON AND THE LANDERS. 

another — the line has never been entirely broken ; as 
one has fallen, another has been immediately at hand 
to fill up the breach — 

" Each stepping where his comrade stood 
The instant that he fell." 



CHAPTER V. 

EXPLORATION OF THE NIGER AND BENUEH 
BY M. ADOLPHE BURDO. 

Having thus surveyed exploration in Western Africa 
in the past, we purpose giving the reader an idea of 
what has been done in the same direction in recent 
times. With this object in view, we cannot do better 
than present a brief summary of the travels of 
M. Adolphe Burdo, one of the latest explorers of the 
Niger and the regions watered by it. 

M. Burdo left France in April 1878, and having 
arrived at Sierra Leone, proceeded thence to Bonny, 
situated in the delta of the Niger. The unhealthy 
climate of this region renders it impossible for the 
European inhabitants to live on the land. Resort is 
had, therefore, to hulks moored at the mouths of the 
rivers, which serve both as dwelling-houses and for 
purposes of commerce. The present king of Bonny, 
George Peppel, deserves a word of mention. He 
passed the early years of his life in England, and, in 
the midst of a still semi-savage and heathen race, 

. (94) 9 



130 BURDO' S EXPLORATION. 

comports himself in most respects like a European. 
Some time ago the English nation presented him 
with a small steamer, aided by which the king carries 
on a brisk trade in palm oil. 

At Bonny M. Burdo was told that it would be 
impossible to reach the Niger from that point. He 
therefore proceeded to Brass, and there began his 
preparations for his voyage on the great river by 
procuring a half-decked canoe and engaging twelve 
Kroomen to man it. In a little while all was ready 
for the start, and the canoe was afloat on one of the 
innumerable creeks which form the delta of the Niger. 

The utter solitude and gloom which reign over 
this portion of the Niger, exert a most depressing 
influence on the traveller beginning his long voyage. 
Destitute alike of flower or grass as well as of 
almost all animal life, the only sound that breaks the 
tomb-like silence is the mournful swaying of the 
slimy-branched aquatic trees from which here and 
there long snakes may be seen trailing. 

The progress made by the party was slow and 
unsatisfactory. Again and again their course was 
completely arrested by impenetrable barriers of man- 
groves. The fresh provisions became exhausted, and 
no human habitations were visible on the banks. On 
the fourth day from the start, the conclusion forced 
itself upon M. Burdo that he had lost his way in this 
dreary maze of creeks and mangrove swamps. De- 



BURDO' S EXPLORATION. 131 

spondency and terror now took possession of the 
Kroomen, and they abandoned their rowing. It was 
with the greatest difficulty that M. Burdo succeeded 
in reanimating their drooping spirits, and inspiring 
them with sufficient energy to renew their labours. 

After a time the channel in which the canoe was 
sailing widened, and M. Burdo was in hopes that his 
difficulties were so far over, and that his further 
progress would be unimpeded. But he soon discovered 
that the creek, instead of leading in the direction of 
the Niger, was evidently bearing them towards the 
sea, and presently the water became quite salt. 

Darkness fell : the channel became wider and 
wider, and presently a light was descried on the 
bank. The canoe was steered for the welcome beacon, 
but the current now became so strong that the 
voyagers were borne past the light and hurried 
rapidly towards the open ocean. 

A noise as of breaking surf was now heard, and a 
white line was visible straight ahead. A new danger 
threatened the party. The white line could only be 
the surf dashing against the reefs that barred the 
mouth of the river. Anchor was at once cast, and 
the canoe brought up with so sudden a shock as 
almost to break the cable. 

The Kroomen slept, but M. Burdo's anxiety was 
too great to admit of slumber. The cable might 
break at any moment, and the canoe be hurried to 



132 BUBDO'S EXPLORATION. 

instant destruction. By morning, however, the 
violence of the current had lessened, for the tide 
had turned. A factory was observed on the bank of 
the river, and towards it the canoe was at once 
steered. The station at which the party now landed 
was Akassa, and the stream which had come so near 
to being the destruction of the explorers was the 
Nun, which M. Burdo had been especially anxious 
to avoid on account of the impetuosity of its current. 

Akassa is destined to be a place of importance, 
should the Niger and Benueh one day be opened to 
the European trader, for it would probably then 
become the point of union between the factories on 
these rivers and the countries of Europe. 

From Akassa M. Burdo and his party were con- 
veyed by the steamer of the African Company to 
Onitsha, up the broad and rapid stream of the Nun. 
Emerging from this river, the Niger itself was at last 
gained, and the scenery at once entirely changed its 
character. The sombre maze of creeks and the inter- 
minable mangrove swamps which, as has been indicated, 
characterize the delta, gave place to a broad and 
noble river, its banks clothed with all the luxuriance 
of African vegetation. Cocoa-nut, banana, and cotton 
trees waved their branches against the sky, and birds 
of rainbow plumage fluttered amid the thick leafage, 
while ever and again a village peeped out from 
behind its green bower. 



BURDO'S EXPLORATION. 133 

En route to Onitsha, Aboh was stopped at, the 
largest town in the district, and commercially one of 
the most active. An energetic and warlike race, the 
natives of Aboh are extremely jealous of the white 
man. They are at incessant feud with the neighbour- 
ing tribes, pass their lives chiefly on the water, and, 
in short, are little else than a race of pirates. 

Onitsha lies on the left bank of the Niger, in lati- 
tude 6° 8' north. Taking leave of the little steamer 
and its captain, M. Burdo now disembarked. At this 
point two of his followers deserted, and two others 
having proved equally faithless at Akassa, the expedi- 
tion was reduced to eight men exclusive of the leader. 

It was market-day when M. Burdo arrived at 
Onitsha, and the river was thronged with canoes, 
while the banks were lined with a motley and excited 
crowd of traders from the town itself and from the 
neighbouring tribes. The market-place presented a 
curious sight. Women offered their wares for sale, 
consisting chiefly of palm oil and ivory, together with 
beads, calicoes, and gin or rum. The men walked in 
and out among the saleswomen and made their pur- 
chases, cowries being the medium of exchange. A 
great diversity of race was to be noticed among the 
negroes, and their colour varied from ebony to copper. 

The king of Onitsha received M. Burdo with signal 
marks of friendliness, and with all the pomp he could 
command. He was seated in the royal hut on a 



134 BURDO'S EXPLORATION. 

carpet of red velvet, dressed in a green mantle, and 
on his head a large hat of leaves decorated with a 
plume of white feathers. He was surrounded by a 
large suite of attendants. 

To the words of salutation and congratulation 
addressed to him by M. Burdo the king returned a 
gracious reply, and then offered the stranger palm 
wine and kolas, a sort of almonds, red and of a bitter 
taste. M. Burdo was then requested to be seated — 
a conspicuous mark of favour on the negro monarch's 
part, as no one of his own people is permitted to sit 
in his presence. 

The customary exchange of presents followed, and 
the king seemed well contented with the white man's 
gift — a parcel of calicoes, with bead-strings, mirrors, 
and a knife. M. Burdo received from his host in 
return a welcome addition to his stock of provisions, 
in the shape of fowls, bananas, a jar of palm wine, 
and a whole ox. 

M. Burdo found that the women of Onitsha occupy 
a somewhat less degraded position than is the case 
among most negro tribes. Commercial negotiations 
are commonly intrusted to them, and in this depart- 
ment they display a large amount of shrewdness. 
They follow their husbands to battle, and play the 
part of vivanclieres with both courage and gentleness. 

At Onitsha M. Burdo engaged seventeen natives as 
rowers, and the expedition now consisted of two 



BURDO'S EXPLORATION. 135 

canoes. At Atane the main stream of the Niger was 
quitted for a while, and a creek entered traversing 
the Obotshi country. Swarms of hippopotami were 
discovered in this stream, one of which M. Burdo 
succeeded in killing. When night approaches, these 
animals come up out of the water to feed on the long 
grass on the banks. All night they browse on these 
pastures, and at daybreak again seek the river-bed. 

The next halt was made at Accre, where M. Burdo 
found the king engaged in feting a neighbouring 
prince. The white man was invited to witness the 
rejoicings, and conducted to the king's presence. The 
prince of Accre and his friend the King Oputa 
both rose at the white man's approach and gave him 
a cordial welcome. King Oputa, a young man with 
a singularly grave and even melancholy cast of coun- 
tenance for a negro, could understand a few words of 
English. 

The fete was now continued with much uproar of 
fifes and tom-toms. Dance followed dance, while the 
public singers chanted the praises of the two kings, 
mingling with these complimentary extemporized 
verses in honour of the white man. 

It was arranged that M. Burdo should continue his 
journey in company with King Oputa and his retinue, 
and having warmly thanked the king of Accre for 
his kind reception, the traveller once more embarked. 
M. Burdo parted from King Oputa at a point where 



136 BURDO'S EXPLORATION. 

the creek forked, the traveller striking northward, 
the king taking a westerly course towards the Niger. 

The territory which the expedition now entered is 
called Esuama-Ebo, a district of large extent. The 
religion of the natives is almost pure idolatry ; but 
some slight traces of Judaism may be discovered in 
it — a circumstance which seems to indicate that some 
stray wanderers of the Hebrew race must long ago 
have found their way to these regions, and in the 
gradual course of time become assimilated to the 
natives both in appearance and customs, leavening 
the races around them, however, with a few of their 
own ideas. Thus the people of Ebo believe in a God, 
Orissa or Tshuku, who is supreme and omnipotent ; 
as well as in an evil spirit corresponding to Satan, 
whom they name Kamallo, or Igwik-AUa. When it 
is explained that Igivik means " one who has fallen 
from a place of honour," and that Alia denotes " earth," 
the parallel between Igwik-AUa and the fallen angel 
of the Scriptures may be readily recognized. 

As the Jews had their sacred city Jerusalem, so 
the people of Ebo have their holy city Aro, to which 
they make many pilgrimages, as the followers of the 
Prophet do to Mecca. 

Quitting Ebo, M. Burdo faced north-east, and pres- 
ently reached N'Teja, which he found in a state of 
great excitement consequent on the king having de- 
clared war with his neighbours the Ogidis. Kinor 



B URDO 'S EXP LOR A TION. 1 37 

Ogene received the white man favourably enough, but 
absolutely forbade him to advance further into his 
territories. He promised, however, to show M. Burdo 
another route by which the Niger might be reached. 
The apparent reason for this course of action on the 
king's part was that he feared that the white man's 
presence among his enemies, the Ogidis, might bring 
with it the favour of the Great Spirit. After witness- 
ing a curious religious rite, by which King Ogene 
sought to propitiate the god Tshuku in favour of his 
arms, M. Burdo departed in a northerly direction 
towards Imam. 

The natives of Ebo are a fierce and war-loving 
people. Giving no quarter and seeking none, they 
make neither slaves nor prisoners, but put all captives 
to death without mercy. They carry out the stern 
old code, " an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," 
to the letter. If a man murders another, the victim's 
relatives pursue the murderer to the death; and if the 
assassin finally escapes, some one of his relatives suffers 
death in his stead, and thus justice is appeased. 

The negroes regard life as falling into four epochs — 
namely, infancy ; youth, when a person must look 
after himself ; manhood, when a man may take a 
wife ; and old age, when he is looked upon as little 
better than a burden to his friends and the state. 
It must in justice be stated, however, that a great 
difference in regard to this last custom exists among 



138 BUEDO'S EXPLORATION. 

different tribes. Some of the native races along the 
Niger pay all due respect to their old men, seeking 
their counsel both in peace and war. 

A man's wives in negro-land are usually in pro- 
portion to his fortune. The wife becomes to all in- 
tents a slave ; and so far from looking with a jealous 
eye upon a fresh arrival in the seraglio, she welcomes 
the new-comer as a sharer in the household work and 
drudgery. 

On the second day after leaving the country of the 
Ogidis the expedition had a sharp encounter with 
hostile natives, about thirty in number. M. Burdo's 
followers behaved well, and succeeded in routing their 
assailants ; but not before one — the bravest of the 
band — paid forfeit with his life. This was "Go-fast," 
one of the trustiest of M. Burdo's escort, who fell 
pierced by an arrow. Everything possible was done 
for the wounded man, but poor Go-fast subsequently 
died of his hurt. 

On the day following this encounter and catastrophe 
the party reached the territory of Annam, a fertile 
region, rich in palm-trees, yams, and bananas. M. 
Burdo was interested in the method of fishing adopted 
by the natives of this district, which is curious and 
ingenious. 

Wooden constructions, resembling rude sentry-boxes, 
supported on poles, are set up in mid-stream. In 
these the fishermen take their station, with a large 



BURDO'S EXPLORATION. 139 

oblong net made of fibre, to which is secured a basket. 
This net, with the basket depending from the middle, 
the fisherman lowers by a rope into the water. Two 
comrades, seated in a canoe near the bank, narrowly 
watch the casting of the net, and as soon as it is 
drawn up they approach and receive the catch, what- 
ever it may be. Then the net is again lowered, and 
so da capo. Great quantities of fish are frequently 
taken by this method. 

M. Burdo was now told that the great river 
Osimirin — the name which the natives of these parts 
give to the Niger — was near at hand ; and presently 
the expedition reached Ogbekin, the capital of King 
Oputa's country, situated on a creek of the Niger, in 
6° 25' north latitude 

The traveller was met by King Oputa and a large 
following, who conducted him to the village, enter- 
tained him with palm wine, bananas, and kolas, and 
furnished him with a hut for himself. 

M. Burdo now paid off some of his men whose term 
of service had expired, and was immediately provided 
with another canoe and more men by King Oputa. 

During his stay at Ogbekin M. Burdo witnessed 
the festival of the Waye, held to signalize the 
sprouting of the yam crop, and an important cere- 
mony among the natives. The whole tribe was 
gathered together about the royal huts, and proceeded 
thence to a large bombax-tree. The priest then took 



140 BURDO'S EXPLORATION. 

a number of newly-gathered yams, some kola nuts, 
and fresh fish, which had been brought by the chiefs 
as an offering. The yams having been sliced up by 
the priest, the king received and ate a piece, and was 
followed in like manner by his chiefs in turn, each 
first pronouncing the words, " Thanks be to Tshuka. 
who permits me to eat the waye." The religious part 
of the rite being performed, the ceremony winds up 
with a merry-making. 

A rite of a very different kind obtains among the 
Ogbekin tribes, which the influence of Christianity 
has not yet touched in any degree. This is the yearly 
ceremony of expiation, performed to atone both for 
the sins of the king and the people. 

Two young girls, chosen generally from hostile 
tribes, having been stripped of all clothing, are decked 
out by the priests in a fantastic garb of leaves, flowers, 
and tinsel. They are then led out and exposed to the 
violence of the mob, who assail them with vitupera- 
tion of every description, shouting, " Arroyo", arroye" " 
(Accursed, accursed). Finally the victims are put to 
death. Among some tribes it is the custom to take 
the victim in a canoe into the middle of the river, 
and, fastening a heavy weight to her person, drown 
her. 

This is a very ancient and deep-rooted custom, and 
by its due observance it is believed that whatever 
crimes may have been committed by the king and his 



BURDO' S EXPLORATION. 141 

people during the year are washed out by the blood of 
the sacrifice. May the time be hastened when the 
spread of civilization and the softening power of Chris- 
tianity shall end this cruel and frightful barbarism. 

King Oputa, the grave and melancholy, treated M. 
Burdo with great hospitality, even to the extent of 
offering him one of the prettiest and most favourite 
of his wives. The black monarch hardly concealed 
his surprise at his guest declining this gift, and M. 
Burdo had some difficulty in making his host com- 
prehend the nature of the tie between husband and 
wife among Europeans. The king could only account 
for a white man having but one wife on the score of 
poverty ; in fact, it was clear that neither he nor his 
wives quite believed M. Burdo's statements in regard 
to the faithfulness of the white man to his wife, re- 
ceiving them with much good-humoured but incredu- 
lous laughter. 

Oputa showed much regret at parting from M. 
Burdo, who proceeded from Ogbekin to Asaba, situ- 
ated 6° 11' north. Asaba, in its external aspect, was 
one of the most curious towns visited by the traveller. 
A temple stood in the centre of the town, adorned 
with the most grotesque idols, one of these represent- 
ing a huge figure of a mother with new-born children 
beside her. The walls of the temple were decorated 
with rude frescoes of wild beasts of strange and un- 
known shapes. 



142 BURDO'S EXPLORATION. 

M. Burdo's stay at Asaba was short, and he was 
soon once more on the river, passing Abijaga on the 
left bank, the Lander islands, and the Ojona islands. 
At Ibbah, in latitude 7° 6' north, he halted. Ibbah is 
a stronghold of Islamism, though situated in negro-land; 
and the language spoken by the people is Houssa, 
which very nearly resembles Arabic. The scenery on 
quitting Ibbah is of great beauty and grandeur. The 
banks of the river rise on either side to a vast height 
— sheer walls of granite ; and through these, gazing 
upward, the voyager beholds the strip of sky, bright 
blue by day, purple and set with stars at night; while 
the rushing of the river through the rocky gorge is 
the only sound that breaks the silence and deep calm 
of the scene. 

Not long after leaving Ibbah a great misfortune 
befell the traveller — namely, the desertion of the 
whole of his men with the exception of three. The 
cause of this unfaithfulness, probably, was fear on the 
part of the men at the prospect of the unknown 
Benueh — the final goal of the expedition. 

M. Burdo's situation was now critical enough, but 
he extorted a promise from his three remaining Kroo- 
men to remain faithful. This oath of allegiance the 
three men took an early opportunity of breaking, and 
the traveller was left absolutely alone ! 

With forebodings of the darkest colour M. Burdo 
pursued his solitary way in his canoe, and having 



BURDO'S EXPLORATION. 143 

anchored at dawn near a village, gathered together his 
chattels, and examined his arms, prepared for the 
worst that might happen in the shape of hostile re- 
ception on the part of the villagers. 

Presently he beheld a group of people, who answered 
his signs by shouting and laughter. This reception 
was, at best, somewhat doubtful ; but the traveller 
had nothing for it but to put a bold face on matters. 
Displaying a strip of calico in one hand and a bead 
necklace in the other, he stood up in the canoe and 
made signs to the negroes that he wished some of 
them to row for him. First one and then another 
got into the boat, until M. Burdo had a crew of four ; 
and thus assisted in the rowing, in the space of half 
an hour the traveller had reached the village of 
Lokoja. Here he was met by a large crowd, who, 
to his no small surprise, seemed to be expecting his 
arrival. But his astonishment increased tenfold when 
on landing he was thus accosted in English by a negro, 
dressed in a jacket and trowsers : — 

" This morning the Bishop of the Niger was in- 
formed by a fisherman that there was a white man 
in these parts. He has sent me to you to ask if you 
are in need of help : he places his house at your dis- 
posal and offers you hospitality." 

Such a greeting brought M. Burdo no less delight 
than astonishment ; for it meant for him succour and 
sympathy when he most needed them. He was now 



144 BUBDO'S EXPLOBATION. 

conducted to the mission-station, which is situated at 
the foot of Mount Patuh, near Lokoja. The Bishop 
of the Niger, Samuel Ajai Crowther, was an old man 
with white hair, dressed in a long black coat and 
trowsers to match. He received M. Burdo most 
cordially, and the two had much to tell each other. 
The bishop strongly urged the traveller not to attempt 
the Benueh in a canoe, on account of its rapid current. 
He advised instead that M. Burdo should ascend the 
river in the small steamer Henry Venn, the property 
of the Church Missionary Society. The traveller, of 
course, at once saw the reason of this, and agreed to 
the bishop's suggestion. 

Bishop Crowther is stationed at Lokoja during the 
rainy season only ; for the remainder of the year he 
lives at Lagos on the coast. The natives of Lokoja 
belong for the most part to the Mohammedan faith, 
and Christianity has not as yet made much headway 
among them. A certain amount of civilized industry 
obtains in the village, and M. Burdo saw a small forge, 
a few cloth-looms, and a dye-vat. 

During his stay at Lokoja, M. Burdo received from 
Bishop Crowther a narrative of the chief events of 
his life — a recital full of interest. He was born on 
the Benueh, but remembered little or nothing of his 
childhood. During an attack on his native village, 
when he was about nine years old, he saw his father 
killed before his eyes. He hung about his mother, 



BURDO'S EXPLORATION. 145 

but was carried off by the enemy. For a year he suf- 
fered extreme hardships at the hands of his captors, 
and was finally sold to Portuguese slave-dealers. 

The boy was shipped in company with a number 
of others in a vessel with a double deck, so constructed 
that at short notice the whole cargo could be let 
down into the sea, in the event of the ship being 
boarded by an English or French cruiser. In her 
passage from Old Calabar the ship was chased by an 
English sloop, captured and boarded. In the con- 
fusion which ensued on board the slave-ship, the boy 
contrived to conceal himself among some salt-bags, and 
thus escaped. The captain of the English cruiser had 
his sympathy awakened by the lad's case, landed him 
at Sierra Leone, and had him put to school. Subse- 
quently he proceeded to London, made excellent pro- 
gress in his studies, and was finally ordained and 
sent to the African mission field. 

Crowther made a very zealous and successful mis- 
sionary ; and his remarkable fitness for the work was 
recognized by his being made a bishop by the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury in 1864, the region of the 
Upper Niger being appointed him as his diocese. 

One day, when Bishop Crowther was preaching in 
a large village, suddenly an aged woman rushed from 
the crowd and seized the preacher round the neck, 
crying, " My son ! my son ! " It was his mother. 
The men who had slain Crowther's father had not 

(04) 10 



146 JBUBDO'S EXPLORATION. 

thought it worth their while to take the mother, and 
she had escaped. For nearly thirty years she had 
been in search of her son, wandering from tribe to 
tribe, and had at last found him thus — a bishop ! She 
passed the remainder of her life in peace and comfort, 
gently tended to her latest days by her son. Such 
is the story of Samuel Ajai Crowther. 

M. Burdo embarked on the little steamer Henry 
Venn in company with Bishop Crowther and Mr. 
J. Ashcroft, agent of one of the missionary societies. 
After leaving Lokoja, Duck Island and Oromay were 
passed, and presently the mouth of the Benueh was 
entered. The negroes give the name of Neehu, or 
Leehu, to this river ; the Mussulmans call it Baiki 
N'Ruwa — that is, White Water; while the Niger they 
call Fari N'Ruwa, or Black Water. 

Igbegbe, a village of evil notoriety for its traffic in 
slaves, is situated at the junction of the two rivers. 
As you ascend the Benueh, or Schadda, navigation is 
rendered difficult and dangerous by the numerous 
sandbanks, and the captain of the Henry Venn had 
constantly to take soundings, besides keeping the 
most vigilant look-out ahead. Even thus, the steamer 
once ran aground near the Harriet Islands ; but her 
paddle-wheels being reversed, she was not long in 
being again free. Large numbers of alligators were 
seen on the sandbanks, basking in the sun, with 
gaping jaws and hideous gleaming teeth. 



BURDO'S EXPLORATION. 147 

On the following day Imaha was reached, situated 
on a small creek about half a mile from the main 
river. The king of Imaha was absent from his 
capital, engaged in laying siege to Amara, higher up 
the river. The party therefore remained only one 
day here, and then proceeded towards Amara, the 
steamer casting anchor within a short distance of the 
besieged town. Two canoes came alongside, and a 
chief, seated in one of them, announced to the 
strangers that King Kpanaki was willing to see them. 
It was Bishop Crowther's intention to establish, if 
possible, a mission among King Kpanaki's subjects. 

On reaching the king's camp, M. Burdo was sur- 
prised at the degree of order and military discipline 
maintained among the troops, who were all drawn up 
in regular battalions according to the several tribes of 
which the army was composed. A band of natives, 
playing on tom-toms, drums, and bamboo fifes, con- 
ducted the strangers to the king's presence, who 
received them seated on a sort of rude throne, con- 
structed of mat-work supported on stakes. Wooden 
seats were placed for the strangers. 

King Kpanaki was between thirty and forty years 
old, of a pure negro type, with a severe expression of 
face. On his head he wore a leather cap surmounted 
by a plume of white feathers, numerous rings adorned 
his fingers, and about his waist was wound a broad 
band of scarlet cloth. 



148 BURDO'S EXPLORATION. 

Bishop Crowther stated the object of his visit, 
telling the king that his (Kpanaki's) father had 
expressed a wish to see the Christian religion intro- 
duced among his people. The bishop then went on to 
say that the God of the Christians forbade war such 
as Kpanaki was now carrying on with his neighbours. 
To this the king answered, that he desired to respect 
his father's wishes, but that he could not discontinue 
the war. 

M. Burdo then told of the desire on the part of 
Europeans to trade with the king, to exchange the 
manufactures of England and France — clothes, 
weapons, iron, and copper — for the products of Africa, 
— for ivory, gold, and palm oil ; adding that such a 
commerce could not be initiated with a people immersed 
in war and rapine. 

Then King Kpanaki proposed to call his chiefs 
together to take into consideration the question of 
making peace with the foe. For a little it seemed 
likely that peaceful counsels might prevail, when 
suddenly a great uproar was heard in the camp, in 
the midst of which a man entered unbidden the hut 
in which this scene was being enacted. 

The new-comer was N'Dako, the captain of the 
king of Bida — a man notorious for his boldness, his 
activity in the slave-trade, and his hatred of white 
men. His arrival put an entirely altered complexion 
on matters, and rendered the position of M. Burdc, 



B UBDO 'S EXPLORA TION. 149 

Mr. Ashcroft, and Bishop Crowther extremely critical. 
N'Dako had soon won over the king to his way of 
thinking, and the strangers were told that they must 
at once depart from the camp and give up all thought 
of penetrating further into King Kpanaki's territory. 
Hostile looks now greeted the strangers on all sides, 
outside the uproar increased, and swords were drawn 
and flashed threateningly. M. Burdo deemed that 
not a moment was to be lost in escaping, and he made 
a way for himself and his companions through the 
mob of soldiers, who seemed more than half ready to 
fall upon the strangers. But they had soon reached 
the river-bank, and were presently again seated in 
their canoe. Meanwhile King Kpanaki was preparing 
to lead his soldiers to the sacking of Amara. 

M. Burdo now parted from Bishop Crowther, the 
latter returning in the steamer to the Niger. The 
parting was with mutual regret, for M. Burdo had 
conceived for the black bishop a regard and respect 
equally sincere. Bishop Crowther placed in the 
traveller's hands a letter for the King of the Belgians, 
which in due course was faithfully delivered. 

The traveller now pursued his journey accompanied 
by one follower only — the faithful Ben Ali — guide 
and interpreter. His resources were coming to an 
end, but he was resolved to travel on as long as they 
held out. 

The sources of the river Benueh still await a dis- 



150 BURDO'S EXPLORATION. 

Coverer, and the complete and final survey of this 
mysterious stream will probably supply a key to not 
a few problems of African exploration. 

On the right side of the Benueh, near its confluence 
with the Niger, lies the country of Igbira-Panda, 
which marches with Oketa. Next, following the 
same bank of the river, comes Bassa, then Egy, 
Doma, and Dotshi, which reaches to the Murchison 
Mountains. Akpoto lies on the left bank ; next 
Agadumo, Mitshi, Anufo, and Karorofan. Then the 
Hamaruwa country begins, occupying both banks of the 
river. Next comes Adamawa, with its capital, Yola. 

The Mussulman power has a strong hold on the 
Benueh and Upper Niger territory. Its chief centre 
is Sokoto, situated on a tributary of the Niger — 
the river Fadam. The followers of Mohammed, led 
by the fierce chief Fodie, invaded this region, and 
making terrible havoc among the natives, took pos- 
session of the country intermediate between Soudan 
and the Benueh. It is extremely doubtful whether 
the Mussulman faith, which has been thus grafted on, 
or in many cases has superseded, the idolatry of the 
original possessors of the land, will do anything to 
further civilization and a gentler life in Central 
Africa. The appearance upon the scene of the fol- 
lowers of the Prophet has as yet brought with it 
only rapine, conflagration, and increased slavery. 

Among the people of Akpoto and Mitshi pure and 



BUBDO'S EXPLOBATION. 151 

simple barbarism prevails. They are cannibals, idol- 
worshippers, and offerers of human sacrifices. Their 
religious ceremonies reveal one or two perverted traits 
of Judaism, among the rest circumcision. Two great 
spirits are worshipped and feared by them — the spirit 
of evil and the spirit of good ; but the former is held 
in by far the greater awe. Serpents, alligators, and 
all animals hostile to man, personify to their minds 
the evil spirit; while trees, rivers, and stars are sym- 
bolical of the good spirit. 

By the time M. Burdo had reached Luwo, he found 
that his resources were almost at an end. It was 
impossible to pursue "his explorations further, for he had 
barely sufficient money, etc., to carry him back to the 
coast. At every village through which he had passed 
he had to pay toll in the shape of a gift to the king 
or chief. He resolved, therefore, to retrace his steps 
through the Akpoto country, and presently reached 
the river Okari, which the traveller judged to be 
identical with the Bonny. As his homeward journey 
continued, his difficulties increased. His provisions 
grew scantier and more scanty, the natives proved 
hostile and treacherous, fatigue and want of sleep 
weakened him in body and spirit, and it was with 
the greatest effort that he prevented himself from 
yielding to despair. Added to these various dis- 
couragements, he suffered severely from the bite of a 
snake, which caused such acute pain and numbness 



1 52 B URDO 'S EXPLOBA TION. 

that he could only continue his journey at a very 
slow pace. 

At length, to his great satisfaction, M. Burdo met 
his old friend King Oputa, on his way with a party 
of his people to conclude a treaty of peace with the 
king of Ogberi. The traveller accompanied his black 
friend to Ogberi, which was reached the same day. 
Zumbadi, the king, received the white man favourably, 
giving him a separate hut for his accommodation. 
Rest and the sense of relief from anxiety soon re- 
freshed the traveller in mind and body. 

During his stay at Ogberi, M. Burdo was compelled 
to be present at a human sacrifice — a sacred ceremony 
which it would have perhaps cost him his own life to 
have refused to witness. The ceremony was accom- 
panied with a very carnival of hideous noises and 
barbaric dances, over which the moonlight shed a 
ghastly radiance, until the whole horrible and heart- 
sickening scene so impressed itself upon the white 
man's imagination that sleep fled from his eyes for 
that night. 

The religion of the people of Ogberi is a sort of 
compromise between idolatry and Mohammedanism. 
They obey the laws of the Koran for the most part, 
but are in reality polytheists. In regard to industrial 
pursuits, cultivation is in a comparative state of ad- 
vancement among them — yams, maize, bananas, the 
cassava and tobacco being grown ; and palm and 



BURDO'S EXPLORATION. 153 

bamboo wine, together with a kind of beer, manu- 
factured. 

The natives of the Benueh region are for the most 
part very ill-favoured, the women among them being 
obese to the extent of deformity. They are an in- 
dustrious people, on the whole, and work in copper 
with no small skill, while their pottery displays a 
degree of adornment that may be compared to 
Egyptian art of this description. 

Quitting Ogberi, M. Burdo in six days reached 
Igbegbe, where the Niger and Benueh meet. Here 
he had an opportunity of studying the slave-market 
in full operation — " the saddest sight in the world." 
Men, women, and children were put up to auction and 
sold " like beasts of burden," — the prices paid varying 
from four pounds to forty. 

At Lokay, M. Burdo embarked on board the little 
steamer Edgar, and arriving at Lagos, took passage 
for Liverpool in the steamer Roquelle. When he 
landed in his native country — Belgium — he had been 
eight months on his travels ; and during all that period, 
though he had had quite the usual share of hardship, 
privation, and suffering which falls to every traveller 
in Africa, he had never suffered seriously in health. 
A hostile climate, fatigue, fever, incessant anxiety, and 
a thousand minor worries, had left him physically un- 
impaired, and he returned to Europe with heartfelt 
gratitude to Heaven for safety and restoration. 



CHAPTER VI. 

CAPTAIN GALLIENl's EXPEDITION TO THE 
UPPER NIGER." 

In the work of African exploration France has not 
been inactive, and among the expeditions projected by 
that nation that of Captain Gallieni must take rank 
as the most important, both in regard to the diffi- 
culties surmounted and the results obtained. 

Captain Gallieni had recently returned from a 
journey of exploration to southern Senegambia, when 
Monsieur Briere de l'lsle, the governor of Senegal, 
unfolded to him a plan for penetrating the valley of 
the Upper Niger by way of the lofty mountain-pass 
extending between that great river and the Senegal. 
The main object of the expedition was to establish 
friendly relations with the native races partially 
made known to Europeans by the travels of Mungo 
Park, and to open up to the French frontier colonies 
of Medine and Bakel an outlet to markets hitherto 

* The following is an abstract of Captain Gallieni's own narrative, which appeared 
in " Le Tour du Monde." 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 155 

abandoned to semi-savage tribes. All the territory 
which was to be traversed, extending from Medine' as 
far as the banks of the Niger, is under the nominal 
sovereignty of Amadou, king of Segou. 

Captain Gallieni chose for his companions in travel 
M. Pietri, a lieutenant of Marine Artillery; M. Valliere, 
a lieutenant of Marine Infantry ; and MM. Tautain 
and Bayol, two young doctors — all men possessing 
special qualifications for the respective duties they 
were to perform. 

Captain Gallieni, well knowing how readily the 
negro races are affected by showy spectacle, kept this 
point well in view in the equipment of his expedition. 
His escort was numerous and equipped at all points, 
and presented a tout ensemble well calculated to excite 
the wonder and admiration of the simple natives. 

The month of January 1880 was employed in 
making all necessary provision for the journey. At 
St. Louis an immense stock of presents was laid in — 
the means of securing the good offices of the tribes- 
These comprised coloured stuffs of various sorts — 
white calicoes, blue guinea cloth, Indian scarves, gay- 
coloured handkerchiefs, gilt swords, silver-mounted 
guns, knives, mirrors, musical boxes, little electrical 
machines, etc. At Bakel the finishing touch was 
given to the preparations, every detail of which had 
been arranged with the care and minuteness so neces- 
sary to the success of an expedition of this sort. 



156 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

On the 30th January a flag hoisted over the house of 
the governor gave the signal for the start. MM. Bayol, 
Pietri, and Valliere embarked on the steamboat Dakar, 
to which were attached the boats, and launches laden 
with the heavy freight which had to be transported 
as far as Bakel by water. Captain Gallieni himself 
and Dr. Tautain, who had been detained at St. Louis 
at the last moment, set out a little later on board the 
Sivan, accompanied by the governor and his lieuten- 
ant. M. Briere de l'lsle had followed with the keenest 
interest all the preparations for the expedition, and 
now accompanied the travellers as far as Podor, as a 
last mark of the importance which he attached to the 
success of the mission. 

It was with feelings of deep emotion that the 
travellers pressed for the last time the hands of their 
friends, whom some of them might perhaps never see 
again. But the thoughts of the explorers were ere 
long turned in other directions by the stir and bustle 
on board, by the cries of the negroes, and by the new 
scenes through which they were passing. On the 
right lay the country of the Trarzan Moors, and on 
the left the territory of the OuolofF negroes. 

Ouoloff is subject to the French government, and 
pays tribute to a considerable amount. The Trarzas, 
on the opposite bank of the river, are among the most 
turbulent of the Moorish tribes ; but an important 
trade is carried on between them and the French at 



CAPTAIN GALLIENJ'S EXPEDITION. 157 

Dagana — the Trarzas bartering their gums for guinea 
cloth, a cheap blue stuff, and other products of Euro- 
pean manufacture. In the winter they quit the 
banks of the river — very much to the satisfaction of 
the black river tribes, who have frequently to suffer 
at the hands of these shameless robbers — return to 
the desert, and resume their wandering and adventur- 
ous life, in which war and pillage play the most im- 
portant part. 

The first important halt which M. Gallieni and his 
companions made along the river was at Dagana, 
situated on the banks of the Senegal, and almost 
entirely hidden among thick trees. From one end of 
the veranda of a house there appeared every now 
and then, as the travellers drew near, the black heads 
of pretty little monkeys, of a gray, green-coloured 
species, which abound in the forests of Fouta, and are 
a source of infinite amusement to the soldiers of the 
forts. 

The town itself presented a lively sight. The 
traders, standing on the steps of their white, square- 
shaped houses, disputed eagerly with the Moors, whose 
black, flowing, uncombed hair gave them a strangely 
savage appearance. In the middle of the path camels 
reclined with long stretched-out legs, and regarded 
with startled eyes all that was going on around them. 
The Dakar only stopped long enough at Dagana to 
land some of its black passengers, and in a few 



158 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

minutes was again on its course for Podor, followed 
closely by the Swan. 

Podor was reached on the evening of January 31. 
It was regarrisoned by the French with a strong 
force in 1854, in the face of the hostility of the 
Toucouleurs of Toro. The fort itself consists of two 
parallel streets, one of which, shady with fine trees, 
borders the Senegal. Behind rise the pointed roofs 
of the native villages of Podor and Tioffy. 

On the 3rd of February, the governor, M. Briere 
de l'lsle, gave the mission their last instructions. 
" Go," he said. " Be energetic, be resolute. Forget 
the trials which await you, to remember only the 
interests of your country. You are about to initiate 
a grand undertaking, and I, for my part, shall use 
every endeavour to see that you are soon followed in 
the path which you will open up to civilization and 
the influence of the French nation. My good wishes 
and those of the whole colony go with you. God 
prosper your noble and patriotic efforts." 

On the morning of the 4th, the voyagers re-em- 
barked, on board the Dakar, which was to take them 
as far as the bank of the Mafou, at which point they 
parted with the steamer. 

Among the inconveniences of Senegalese life, the 
greatest is the difficulty of communication, during a 
large part of the year, between the chief town of 
the colony and the settlements situated beyond Podor. 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 161 

Steamboats cannot ascend further than the shallows 
of the Mafou, and recourse must be had to flat- 
bottomed boats, which often consume a whole month 
in reaching Medine. Sometimes the black sailors who 
have charge of these craft land on the banks, fasten 
a long rope to the masts, and thus drag the boats 
along. Often, however, the thick vegetation of the 
river-banks renders this device impracticable, and 
branches and long poles have then to be used. Under 
conditions such as these it will easily be imagined 
how slow and monotonous progress becomes, especially 
when the numerous shallows and rapids which ob- 
struct both the lower and upper Senegal are re- 
membered. 

Toro was now reached, one of the states annexed 
in a measure by the French from the powerful and 
turbulent confederation of Fouta. The hostility dis- 
played by the Toucouleurs, and their predilection for 
plunder, obliged the French to make frequent ex- 
peditions against these wandering tribes. As one 
result of this policy, Toro became an independent state 
under the protectorate of the French, and is governed 
by a young chief, Amadou Abdoul, who is now almost 
a naturalized Frenchman, and who visited the Paris 
Exhibition of 1878. 

The other bank of the river forms the boundary- 
line of the territory of the Brackna Moors, who carry 
on a brisk trade in gums with the fort at Podor. 

(94) 1 1 



162 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

The navigation was slow and difficult for some 
days. Owing to the thickly-wooded character of the 
banks, the boats could not be towed along by ropes 
secured to the masts. Captain Gallieni and his com- 
rades relieved the tediousness of the journey by 
shooting at the alligators asleep on the surface of the 
stream. The huge creatures plunged suddenly beneath 
the water, leaving a thin stream of blood behind them, 
which sufficiently showed that some of the shots had 
not been without effect. On the summits of the 
banks black-headed monkeys and birds of many- 
coloured plumage fled at the approach of the trav- 
ellers. 

On the 9th, the villages of Cascas and Doungel 
were passed ; and soon after, not without difficulty and 
much loss of time, the difficult passage of Djoule'diabd 
Here, however, the banks being unwooded, the method 
of towing could again be put into practice. 

The next halt was made at Salde', where a stock of 
fresh provisions was laid in. Boussea was presently 
in sight — a place inhabited by the most unruly tribe 
of all the Toucouleur confederacy. Its chief, Abdoul 
Boubakar, surrounded by an energetic band of young 
warriors, living entirely by plunder, does his utmost to 
excite against the French the more peaceable villages 
situated along the river with whom that nation has 
commercial relations. 

The river continued to be of imposing breadth. On 



CAPTAIN OALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 163 

the Fouta side the banks are well wooded. As far as 
Matam many traces of cultivation were observed. On 
the 14th, Orefonde', the capital of all the Toucouleur 
confederacy, was reached. Here are usually held the 
assemblies of fanatic Mussulmans, who combine against 
the French and their native 'proteges. These wild 
convocations result in little more than talk and up- 
roar, and generally break up without arriving at any 
serious determination. 

Plenty of hippopotami were now met with, the 
voyagers being made aware of their propinquity by 
loud snortings. They frequently rose up out of the 
river a few yards from the boats, which ran some 
risk of being swamped by them. Fire was opened 
upon these huge river-horses, but with not much 
result ; for when wounded the creatures plunged im- 
mediately to the bottom of the river. 

Notwithstanding the activity of the black sailors, 
Matam was not reached until the 18th. It is situ- 
ated on the confines of Boussea and Damga, the last 
state of Fouta. Damga is a more populous region than 
any that had been crossed thus far. The inhabitants 
are a peaceable people, who desire nothing better than 
to be delivered from the continual raids of Abdoul 
Boubakar. 

The vegetation now became more luxuriant and 
beautiful. Trees of various species abounded — palms 
of different varieties and tamarinds of great height 



164 CAPTAIN GALL1ENVS EXPEDITION. 

and elegant form being especially numerous. The 
picturesque foliage of the trees, the hills and red- 
brown rocks which formed a background to the 
vegetation, and villages set more closely together, gave 
to the country a very bright and lively look, and 
made a pleasant relief to the eye after the long 
monotony of the forest. 

On the morning of the 25th the expedition 
arrived at Tuabo, the residence of the tunka or chief 
of Guoy. A few hours later Bakel was in sight, 
recognizable by its high towers crowning the hills 
around the fort. Next the white and massive build- 
ings were visible, and at four o'clock in the afternoon 
the voyagers cast anchor, happy to quit the narrow 
and difficult passage through which they had been 
passing for the last twenty days. The first stage of 
the voyage was accomplished, and the journey was 
henceforth to be a land one. 

The fort of Bakel dates from the beginning of the 
century. It replaced the various factories formerly 
established in that region by the Indian Company, to 
prosecute the gold trade of Galam and Bambouk. It 
is at the present day a fine building, restored by the 
exertions of the governor, Briere de l'lsle, composed of 
two large wings connected by a smaller building. 
The officers' quarters are airy and commodious, while 
those of the men are equally comfortable and well 
arranged. In fact, nothing has been left undone to 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 167 

minimise the discomforts of life in a country abound- 
ing in malarious marshes and hostile in every way to 
the health of European residents. 

This station is the most important on the river, and 
carries on an active trade in gums, horses, gold, ostrich 
feathers, skins, etc. The commandant, M. Soyer, re- 
ceived the expedition with every mark of hospitality, 
and some time was spent by Captain Gallieni and his 
officers in reorganizing the large and somewhat hetero- 
geneous forces — men, cattle, and baggage — under their 
command. 

By the evening of the 6th March everything 
was again ready for the road, and on the follow- 
ing morning at daybreak a start was made. The 
long cortege had hardly set out when a loud roaring 
was heard, and Lieutenant Valliere exclaimed, " A 
lion ! It cannot be far off. Is it a good omen, or 
not ? " 

" It comes from the right," replied Dr. Tautain 
jestingly. 

" However it be," said Captain Gallieni, " Forward's 
the word." 

The first halt was made at the village of Golmi, 
the forest of Goura having been crossed during the 
march, which lay along the left bank of the Senegal. 
Everything was ready for a bivouac, and the ass- 
drivers began to prepare their rice and couscous, under 
the direction of the chef de cuisine Yoro. Yoro was 



168 CAPTAIN GALLIENI' S EXPEDITION. 

an important personage in the expedition, and merits 
more than a passing mention. 

He was a Toucouleur of the Laobe tribe ; a people 
held in slight esteem by their countrymen, by reason of 
their gaining their livelihood by cutting wood, digging 
ditches, and making pestles for crushing the meal for 
couscous. In many parts of Africa the greatest 
disdain is manifested for the working castes, such as 
weavers, rope-makers, and smiths. The Laobes, who 
are spread throughout all Senegal, live apart, and 
marry among themselves, but are nevertheless one of 
the most prosperous tribes in the country. 

Yoro was of a type frequently met with among 
the native races who have taken on a varnish of 
civilization. He was vain, a liar, and a thief ; but 
he had also good qualities. He was a capital fellow 
in a crisis. He got the breakfast ready with a 
marvellous expedition, and could prepare for dinner 
the most tempting dishes. He had been in turn 
tirailleur, scullion, muleteer, sailor ; always greedy, 
always miserable, and always absolutely devoted to 
his master. When evil fortune befell, Yoro would sell 
his dearest possession in order to satisfy our desires. 
More than once he proved his devotion to Captain 
Gallieni by exposing his body to the bullets of hostile 
natives in defence of his master. At Nango, where 
Gallieni was struck down with fever, Yoro sat day 
and night by the sick man's bed, and nursed him 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI 'S EXPEDITION. 169 

with the gentleness of a mother. It is no wonder, 
therefore, that Captain Gallieni speaks of his faithful 
attendant in terms of affectionate esteem. 

The expedition left Golmi on the 8th, and arrived 
next at Guoy, a province of Bakel. Here long chains 
of hills stretch towards the south ; but on the other 
side of the river the country is flat, and the marigots 
are the only obstacles which interrupted the march. 
By marigots is meant those small affluents of the 
Senegal which, dry as a rule for the most part of the 
year, overflow in the rainy season and form deep and 
wide channels. After crossing the river Faleme', a 
beautiful stream which discharges a considerable 
volume of water into the Senegal, the expedition 
entered Kamera. The inhabitants of Kamera are a 
peaceable and hard-working people, who bear the 
cognomen of the " Jews of Soudan." Kame'ra is 
under the protectorate of France. The surrounding 
country presents no features of special interest — forest 
and brushwood, varied here and there by a small 
stream, and in the vicinity of the villages fields 
planted with millet. 

On the morning of March 11th, the camp was 
pitched before the village of Gore", an important centre 
inhabited by Bambarras, who escaped the sword of 
Amadou on the occasion of his last raid upon Kaarta 
in 1874. Dama, the chief of Gore, gave the travellers 
a very hearty reception, presenting Gallieni with 



170 CAPTAIN GALLIENI 'S EXPEDITION. 

beef, mutton, milk, etc. ; and to do special honour to 
his guests, he arranged for their diversion a tom-tom, 
or military fete. 

Gallieni and his comrades were conducted with 
much ceremony by the king's chief ministers to the 
scene of action — a band of musicians leading the 
way, and making on their rude instruments the most 
indescribable uproar. Dama himself was seated, 
cross-legged, on a leopard's skin stretched on the 
ground. About him were grouped his warriors in 
various attitudes, armed with guns and lances. 

The night was dark, and the vast crowd, itself as 
black as the night, and lit up only by sundry torches, 
presented a strange and most fantastic appearance. 
Captain Gallieni was seated beside the king, and 
presently the dance began. It was engaged in by 
men only, and these the most nobly born and the 
bravest in the state. The tom-toms, a kind of long 
drums, which give the name to the ceremony ; trum- 
pets of hollow wood, uttering a harsh and monotonous 
sound ; and little flutes, played in a rather melodious 
fashion — these formed the orchestra. The trumpets 
emitted three notes only, always the same, and all sad 
and mournful, producing a most melancholy effect 
upon the ear. 

While the music was at its height, the dancers 
arranged themselves in many various attitudes in the 
flaring light of the torches, each warrior grasping his 



CAPTAIN G ALLIEN VS EXPEDITION. 171 

gun or sabre. Now they stooped, now tossed their 
weapons in the air, now pirouetted, and now threw 
their arms above their heads ; always dancing in 
time, their eyes flashing with a warlike fire. The 
dancers won the enthusiastic applause of the specta- 
tors, and the fite terminated with a display of coloured 
lights which Captain Gallieni caused to be burned for 
the wonder and delight of the simple natives. 

On the 12th March, the explorers camped on the 
bank of the river at the village of Ambidedi, under 
the shadow of three noble bread-fruit trees, whose 
trunks measured between fifteen and twenty yards 
in circumference, and whose leafy boughs made an 
impervious screen against the sun. Towards evening 
shots were heard on the right bank. It was one of 
those affrays which are continually taking place 
between the Moors and the Sarracolets of Guidi- 
makha, the origin of which is always the same — the 
wish on the part of the Moors to possess themselves 
of their neighbours' herds, and the determination of 
the rightful owners to defend their property. 

After traversing a very fertile region, planted with 
beautiful fields of millet, the village of Bongourou 
was reached on the 14th, and shortly after Medine, 
which is two hundred and sixty leagues from the 
mouth of the Senegal, and situated near the cataract 
of Felou. Here Captain Gallieni halted for some 
days, to reorganize and strengthen the expedition. 



172 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

At this time, it being the dry season, the country 
around Medine was dry and parched and almost 
destitute of pasturage. The camp was pitched to the 
south of the village, under the shadow of two or 
three lofty trees, on a plain encircled by rocky hills. 
The Senegal was not far off, the main river alone 
being able to supply sufficient water for the wants of 
the expedition. All the smaller streams were dry. 

The site of the camp was remarkable in several 
respects. A semicircle of lofty rocks, absolutely 
vertical, formed the background. The face of the 
rock was broken by frequent cavities, the haunt of 
innumerable monkeys, and of hyenas that come down 
at night into the very streets of Medine* and utter 
their hoarse cries under the walls of the fort. 

From the camp could be seen also the " Lion 
Rocks ; " so called from their peculiar formation — 
huge masses of rock resembling crouching lions. 

By this time the expedition, which had been 
strengthened from stage to stage during the journey, 
presented a really imposing array. The camp was 
divided into sections, each under the command of its 
own leader, each bearing conspicuous its own flag. 
Thus far the most perfect order had been preserved 
in every department ; and never before, probably, had 
the natives beheld so numerous and well-equipped a 
caravan. 

From Medine* to Bafoulabe* the valley of the Sene- 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION 173 

gal rises gradually from an elevation of about thirty 
to nearly one hundred yards. Beyond Boukaria, 
transport by water is no longer practicable — the 
course of the river being here broken by numerous 
small falls and rapids, not to mention the cataract of 
Gouina. 

While Gallieni remained at Medine', the first diffi- 
culty which he had experienced with his followers 
arose. The Toucouleurs, with characteristic fickleness, 
had lost the enthusiasm for the journey which they 
had at first shown, and began to think they were not 
sufficiently remunerated for their labours. The seeds 
of a conspiracy were being sown, and the malcontents, 
urged on by two or three leaders, threatened to aban- 
don the white man unless more favourable terms were 
granted them. Captain Gallieni's action in this crisis 
was sufficiently prompt and energetic to quell at once 
the threatened outbreak. Nevertheless, he could not 
but feel some slight uneasiness at the idea of being 
deserted by his native escort — a danger which so 
frequently menaces the African explorer, and which, 
by causing delay and other mortifications, so imperils 
the success of an expedition. 

By the 21st March the travellers were again 
ready for the journey. Such of the asses as had been 
disabled during the march from Bakel to Medine' were 
replaced by others ; fresh native horses had been 
purchased, as well as a herd of cattle to provide fresh 



174 CAPTAIN GALLIENVS EXPEDITION. 

meat for the expedition. The chiefs of Medine" gave 
a dinner in honour of Captain Gallieni and his com- 
rades on the eve of their departure. Finally, on the 
morning of the start the explorers were treated to a 
serenade by the chief musician of Medine". The per- 
formance was sufficiently diverting, for it consisted of 
a medley of native and French airs, the latter selected 
from the operas of " La Grande Duchesse " and " La 
Fille de Madame Angot." The effect of the lively 
French music sung by the swarthy troubadour to the 
accompaniment of his rude guitar was singular and 
amusing. 

The first difficulty which the caravan had to en- 
counter occurred almost at the gates of Medine". The 
valley of the Senegal, enclosed at this point between 
two walls of cliffs, is completely barred by a mass of 
rocks known as the plateau of Felou, behind which 
stretches the beautiful plain of Logo. Here there are 
the genuine traces of a dike which once held a por- 
tion of the waters of the Senegal, and formed a large 
lagoon, having for its bed the plain of Logo. On 
the Medine' side the plateau terminates suddenly and 
abruptly in rocky pinnacles. 

The Senegal has broken down this dike on the right 
side, and has channelled for itself a straight course 
towards the steep cliffs ; but a line of rocks still bars 
the progress of the river, and, by holding the waters 
within the plain of Logo, forms a magnificent sheet 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 175 

of water stretching as far as Boukaria. That barrier, 
hollowed, worn, polished, sculptured in a fashion, by 
the friction of the waters, presents a most picturesque 
appearance — vaults from which the water drips drop 
by drop, cascades, caverns with inaccessible recesses, 
caldrons shaped like upturned cones by pebbles of 
adamantine hardness, which are kept in continual 
circular motion by separate currents. 

The plateau of Felou did not prove so great an 
obstacle to progress as Captain Gallieni, from previous 
knowledge of the locality, had anticipated. For it 
was now the dry season, and by following the empty 
water-courses channelled in the plains, it was not 
very difficult to reach the slope leading to the plain of 
Logo. 

On the morning of the 22nd the village of 
Saboucire was reached, the scene of a brilliant foray 
made by Colonel Reybaud against the Malinke's of 
Logo, who had rebelled against the authority of 
Sambala, an old ally of the French. 

After halting at several intermediate stations, in- 
cluding Malou and Dinguira — the latter a beautiful 
village, well built and well cultivated — the travellers 
reached the famous cataract of Gouina, the crash of 
whose waters was heard long before the fall itself was 
in sight. In the winter season the Gouina cataract 
discharges into the great basin below an immense 
volume of water ; and the current is so strong that 



176 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

hippopotami are often swept over the fall from the 
upper waters and found crushed among the rocks 
below. In the dry season the appearance of the 
cataract is less imposing but more graceful. The 
rocks, rising above the current, present a smooth and 
polished surface ; and the water gleams and glistens 
among the crevasses like strings of iridescent pearls, 
falling in little cascades on the successive terraces of 
rock in a way that entrances the gaze. 

The camp was pitched over against Foukhara, a 
little village built on an island in the middle of the 
stream — a somewhat inconvenient position by reason 
of the innumerable hippopotami which infest the 
Senegal, and which have to be frightened off by the 
nightly beating of drums. 

Two days were occupied in the journey from 
Foukhara to the Talahari — the route followed leading 
through a veritable desert. At this stage the leader 
was attacked with violent fever ; but, thanks to the 
prompt and efficacious treatment of Dr. Bayol, he was 
soon able to accomplish the last stage of the journey 
to Bafoulabd The village of Makhina was passed, 
and the left bank of the Baring reached. 

Bafoulabe' stands at the confluence of the two 
streams which form the Senegal — a name which sig- 
nifies " two rivers." The more important of these is 
the Bating, or Black River. It flows from the south, 
and has its source in the mountain masses of Fouta 



CAPTAIN G ALLIEN VS EXPEDITION. 177 

Djalon. The other confluent is the Bakhoy, or White 
River, flowing from the east. 

Bafoulabe had been chosen as the site of the first 
of those stations which the French desired to establish 
as far as the Joliba, the great river of the negroes. 
On the morning of the 2nd April, Captain Gallieni 
had the satisfaction of beholding all his forces, men 
and animals, drawn up in good order on the little 
plateau which was to serve as the site of the new 
station of Bafoulabe. 

Captain Gallieni had now entered a country in 
which the faculty of the diplomatist was as essential 
as that of the explorer. His directions were, that he 
should follow the valley of the Bakhoy, which is the 
shortest route to the Niger. Time pressed, and it was 
expedient to reach the Joliba before winter. Accord- 
ingly, the order was given to leave Bafoulabe' on 2nd 
April. 

The march led through forest country thickly 
planted with lofty and beautiful trees. Some of these 
were of singular shape and appearance. Their trunks, 
curiously indented at the base, formed, as it were, 
niches, with regularly-shaped walls, which became 
gradually merged in the tree itself at a distance of 
four or five yards above the ground. One of these 
giants of the forest measured nearly twenty yards in 
circumference. 

Birds of varied and brilliant plumage fluttered 

(94) 12 



178 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

among the leafy boughs overhead, making a lively and 
pleasant music. Among the most conspicuous of these 
was a bird resembling an English pheasant, its head 
adorned with a pretty black crest, its plumage a 
beautiful dark blue. 

The left bank of the Bakhoy was followed as closely 
as possible ; but the luxuriant vegetation prevented 
any careful examination of its course. Night fell 
before the camp was pitched, which occasioned some 
disorder. But a circumstance which served still 
further to increase the confusion, and to place the 
caravan in actual danger for a few moments, was a 
fire which broke out a little way from the camp almost 
before the different sections were fairly settled. It 
was the dry season, which the natives utilize in clear- 
ing their fallow fields of parasitic vegetation. It was 
not a little startling to see the flames rushing heaven- 
wards so close to the camp, reddening the sky and 
horizon. The high grass blazed with marvellous 
rapidity, crackling and roaring with a noise that 
could be heard miles away. The gigantic baobab 
trees, with their branches resembling human arms, 
seemed to tremble with terror, and presented a most 
fantastic appearance in the wavering glare of the 
flames. 

The wind was blowing towards the camp, and not 
a minute was to be lost if the threatened danger was 
to be avoided. Already some of the asses, terrified 



sy*Y •puma 




CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 181 

by the noise, had thrown off their loads and broken 
loose into the forest. A number of the men, providing 
themselves with large and leafy branches, advanced 
towards the fire. Leaping, shouting, dancing, gesticu- 
lating, like true negroes as they were, they had soon 
mastered the flames, at least over a sufficient area to 
preclude all immediate danger to the camp. 

On the following day the explorers reached the 
village of Kala, after skirting the mountain of Douka 
and crossing a number of dry tributaries of the main 
river. The river Bakhoy, from Bafoulabe as far as 
its confluence with the Baoule', flows through a wide 
valley sloping from east to west and flanked on each 
side by mountain masses. 

On the 4 th the village of Niakale* Cirea was 
reached, and the camp pitched beneath a beautiful 
fig-tree. Here a somewhat disagreeable incident befell 
Captain Gallieni. The young chief, Gara Mamady 
Cire', whom the leader had commanded to follow him 
to the Niger, arrived on the 5th with a large follow- 
ing of armed men, contrary to Captain Gallieni's 
injunctions. The chief began first to complain that to 
him, the son of a great chief, had been given a less 
beautiful horse than Alpha Sega, the interpreter, had 
received. Then he declared that he could not follow 
Captain Gallieni unless he were allowed to take with 
him forty men of his village. Captain Gallieni under- 
stood perfectly that this untractable warrior had no 



182 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

great desire to trust himself in an unknown country, 
dangerous to traverse by reason of the continual war- 
fare which prevailed. He told the chief in plain and 
vigorous terms that he might take himself off home 
again as soon as he pleased ; to which Gara replied 
with equanimity, assuring the white man that he was 
depriving himself of an important ally in leaving him, 
Gara, behind. 

Gallieni and his lieutenants had scarcely forgotten 
the disagreeable feeling produced by this incident, 
when an episode of a more amusing character occurred. 
A sheep had just been purchased from a Malinke' ; and 
Yoro the cook had already begun to cut up and pre- 
pare the animal for dinner, when the late proprietor 
returned, rending the air with the most piteous cries, 
and regretting in the bitterest terms the bargain he 
had just concluded. He bewailed and gesticulated, 
exclaiming, " Is it possible that I could have allowed 
myself to be so taken in ? What ! one little piece 
for an animal which lives, which walks, which eats, 
which drinks ! Is it right — is it just ? " It is im- 
possible, Captain Gallieni writes, to convey the manner 
and the complaints, each more ludicrous than the 
other, of the aggrieved Malinke'; the simple truth 
being, that he wished, over and above his price, a 
calabash of brandy, which he at last got. 

After quitting Niakale Cirda, the march became 
difficult and painful, leading through a long gorge 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 185 

where the ground was broken and rugged with huge 
blocks of rock. The camp was next pitched at the 
village of Solinta, by the ford of the Dioube - Ba. 

The sun had hardly set when the hyenas began to 
prowl around the camp with their hoarse and melan- 
choly howling, their lean flanks and hideous forms 
revealed strangely in the light of the camp-fires. They 
approached quite close, attracted by the debris of the 
supper. A discharge of shot was not sufficient to 
frighten off these frequent and objectionable guests 
of every African bivouac. 

Presently, too, a disturbance among the asses, fol- 
lowed by a loud roaring, warned the travellers of the 
presence of another night foe — namely, lions. The 
shots had, however, apparently frightened these last 
visitors, and their roaring ere long ceased. The lions 
of Senegambia are maneless. They rarely attack 
men ; but it was seldom that our travellers pitched 
their camp without the roaring of these kings of the 
forest coming to disturb their slumbers. One of the 
sharp-shooters, however, was on one occasion attacked 
by a lion, and only escaped by climbing a large tree, 
the thick branches and dense foliage of which served 
him for a refuge for the night. 

At the village of Solinta, where the caravan halted, 
the attention of Captain Gallieni and his comrades 
was arrested by a large furnace of remarkable con- 
struction. It was built in the earth, almost cylindrical 



186 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

in shape, and widening towards the centre. This 
furnace was employed in the manufacture of iron for 
making swords, knives, and other utensils used by the 
natives of the region. 

The neighbouring mountains supply the minerals 
for the furnace in great abundance. Many workmen 
are employed in working it. It is furnished with a 
number of mouths, to which are fitted bellows worked 
by hand. One other mouth, much larger than the 
rest, is kept open when the operation of smelting 
the metal is about to begin. When a sufficient 
quantity of metal is ready for smelting, all the smiths 
of the village give themselves to the work at the same 
time. The occasion becomes in some sort a festival 
as well as a labour, for the workmen are plied with 
copious draughts of maize-beer. Songs and shrill 
cries accompany the work, the roaring of the fires 
swells the din, and every man bears a hand at the 
bellows until the metal is ready. Captain Gallieni 
remarks that a very similar method of iron-forging 
obtains in the Pyrenees. 

The 8th of the month was spent by the expedition 
at Soukoutaly, the chief of which, a fine old man of 
frank and resolute bearing, evinced much satisfaction 
when Captain Gallieni explained to him his projects 
in regard to the Upper Niger. The old chief was 
greatly pleased when the white leader said that he 
had often heard of him, and presented him, on behalf 



CAPTAIN GALLIENVS EXPEDITION. 187 

of M. Briere de l'lsle, with a handsome mantle and a 
gun mounted with silver. 

At Soukoutaly Captain Gallieni received further 
proof of the hatred in which the Toucouleurs are held 
in these regions. The chief men of Tomora, a country- 
subject to the king of Segou, sought Gallieni, asking 
if they and all their people might be allowed to cross 
the river and take up their abode within the protection 
of the new station of Bafoulabd Captain Gallieni 
answered, that it was not part of his scheme to mix 
himself up with the affairs of Amadou, but that his 
petitioners could do as they pleased. The men under- 
stood what was meant, and Captain Gallieni after- 
wards learned that they had put their project into 
execution. 

The empire of Amadou is now but the relic of the 
vast conquests of the prophet El Hadj Oumar, and is 
fast losing power and prestige. The peoples of Mal- 
inke' and Bambarra have long groaned under its 
intolerable yoke, and only wait an opportunity of 
breaking free from the domination of the Mussulman, 
the worst enemy of both the white and black races in 
this part of Africa. 

Journeying across a fertile region, the explorers 
presently arrived at Badumbe. Badumbe' is surrounded 
by a wall of solid masonry — one of the most remark- 
able constructions met with by the travellers in 
Africa. The object of this embattlement was no 



188 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

doubt to protect the inhabitants against the attacks 
of the Toucouleurs. In shape it approached a quadri- 
lateral, and was naturally protected on one side by 
the Bakhoy, on two other sides by affluents of that 
river, and on the fourth by the mountains. The 
enclosure was a polygon, containing a round tower 
furnished with a sally-port. The wall of the tower 
followed a zigzag course, which enabled those holding 
the fort to open a cross fire as well as a direct fire. 
Lofty parapets allowed also of a fire being kept up 
from without. 

The people of Badumbe' received the expedition 
with much cordiality, regarding them as the enemies 
of the Toucouleurs. One brought a sheep, another a 
chicken, a third a calabash of milk, a fourth a bag of 
corn for Captain Gallieni's horse — all vied in showing 
attention to the strangers. 

At Badumbe' the caravan remained one day, en- 
camped on a hot and desolate plain, under the very 
inadequate shade of two or three acacia trees. The 
white men were an object of much curiosity to the 
natives of the place ; their clothes, and especially their 
trowsers, exciting much wonder and amusement. One 
of the young negresses asked to be allowed to touch 
Captain Gallieni's bare arm, that she might assure 
herself that the flesh was the same as her own. 

The nearer the explorers approached to the Niger, 
the difficulties of the journey increased. The further 



CAPTAIN GALLIENVS EXPEDITION. 189 

they advanced, the slighter their knowledge grew of 
the ground they were traversing, and the less prepared 
were they to meet the obstacles of the march, 

Beyond Badumbe the valley widens considerably 
and becomes more undulating. The Bakhoy describes 
towards the north the arc of a circle, and the path 
leading to Fangalla follows the circumference of 
that arc. 

An elephant-hunter of Badumbe' was found to act 
as guide to the expedition as far as Fangalla. The 
route led through a forest where it was often neces- 
sary to cut a path for the animals with the sword. 

Fangalla was once the capital of Farimboula, and its 
populous villages stretched along the banks of the 
Bakhoy and over the islands which dot its waters. 
The king of Fangalla was rich in herds and flocks, 
and the people were prosperous and brave. But thirty 
years ago a horde of Mussulmans swept down on 
Fangalla, plundered its inhabitants, harried their 
cattle, devastated the fields, and retired, leaving be- 
hind them desolation and ruin. It may be said, 
generally, that wherever the followers of the Prophet 
pass in Africa, misery and ruin follow in their wake. 

On the morning of the 13th the caravan reached 
the falls of Bily. At this point in its course, the 
river, confined between two rocky cliffs, falls in suc- 
cessive cascades to form the cataract, which is of con- 
siderable height and volume, and resembles the Gouina 



190 CAPTAIN G ALLIEN VS EXPEDITION. 

fall. The water falls vertically ; the rocks are smooth 
and polished, and, worn in many places by the current 
and the pebbles, form little subterranean streams 
which unite their several waters with the main cata- 
ract as it tumbles with a crash into the basin below. 

Beyond the Bily fall the path pursued by the 
travellers led again along the river, and was with 
difficulty followed, owing to the stony character of the 
ground. The country, bare in certain parts, was 
covered in others with absolutely virgin forest ; — 
acacias of very graceful shape ; tamarinds of dense 
and beautiful foliage; khadd trees, whose falling leaves 
foretold the approach of winter; and fig-trees, on 
which parasitic roots drooped to the ground from the 
higher branches like the cordage of a ship. The 
whole forest was densely interlaced with creeping 
plants which hung their festoons from tree to tree, 
and proved a formidable obstacle to the progress of the 
caravan, obliging the constant use of hatchet and 
sword. The horsemen were ever and anon compelled 
to bend low to avoid the branches and threatening 
thorns. The mules, becoming frequently entangled 
among; the boughs, found the march a most difficult 
one ; but as the good-natured old Sambo, one of 
Captain Gallieni's native companions, said, laughing 
his great laugh, while the leader was watching the 
baggage with an anxious eye, " Fear nothing, captain ; 
believe me, the cargo is solid." 




FOREST NEAR THE BILY FALLS. ON THE BAKHOY. 



Page iqo. 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 193 

On the 14th the passage of the Bakhoy began. 
The first section of the caravan led the way ; all the 
ass-drivers, carrying their baggage on their heads, 
entered the stream, taking care not to fall on the 
slippery rocks of the ford. The baggage having been 
got safely across, the asses had to be led over. Then 
followed the muleteers and spahis, each leading his 
beast by the bridle and carrying his saddle on his 
head. Lastly came Captain Gallieni, with naked feet 
and legs, feeling his way with a stick. 

By mid-day the crossing was successfully accom- 
plished, and the whole camp was treated, in honour of 
the event, to a double ration of meat and rice. Across 
this broad river there had been transported, in the 
course of a few hours, six hundred and fifty loads of 
baggage and nearly four hundred horses, mules, oxen, 
and asses. 

During the afternoon Captain Gallieni took the 
opportunity of the halt to send for three of the ass- 
drivers who had frequently of late signalized them- 
selves by their laziness and insubordination. The 
caravan was in the middle of the desert, and the poor 
wretches cast themselves at Captain Gallieni's feet and 
implored pardon, declaring that for the future they 
would be models of obedience. Two of them were 
willing to resume their duties as ass-drivers ; but the 
third, Mamadou Si, a turbulent and surly Toucouleur, 
refused. This man had already shown at Bakel his 

(94) 13 



194 CAPTAIN GALLIENI 'S EXPEDITION. 

insubordinate spirit, and at Medine" had instigated a 
conspiracy that had all but deprived Captain Gallieni 
of twenty of his followers. On that occasion the 
leader restrained himself from doing as he would have 
liked ; but at Toukoto he seized the opportunity of a 
complaint which Mamadou Si made against the chief 
of his section, to expel the unruly member from the 
camp — a severe but deserved and necessary punish- 
ment. 

The sojourn of the explorers at Goniokori was 
fraught with special interest, as will be presently seen. 
Goniokori is composed of three separate villages built 
at intervals of three or four hundred yards, in a plain 
of great fertility and planted with beautiful bread- 
fruit and cedar trees. The grand mountain mass of 
Badougou lies to the north, the peak of Gotekrou to 
the east, a rocky plateau extends to the south, while 
the Bakhoy bounds the plain on the west. The three 
villages together do not contain more than five hun- 
dred inhabitants, but represent, nevertheless, the capi- 
tal of Fouladougou, that extensive territory which em- 
braces all the country between Kaarta-Be'le'dougou, and 
Manding. 

Captain Gallieni was much surprised at the poverty 
and barbarity of the king and people of Goniokori. 
He had expected to find a rich and powerful chief, 
for he was the descendant of an ancient line of kings. 
The reception which he gave to the leaders of the expedi- 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 197 

tion was a mixture of indifference and awe. Its great 
numbers evidently caused him more fear than joy ; and 
although Captain Gallieni endeavoured to make it 
clear to him that the white men had come to assist 
him against his foes the Toucouleurs, the chief did not 
seem to comprehend, and his attitude remained one of 
mingled resignation and imbecility. 

This singular chief had a brother who governed one 
of the three villages. This brother was as noisy and 
demonstrative as the other was reserved and indif- 
ferent. From the excitement of his speech and ges- 
tures it was easily seen that this fellow was drunk. 
An old negress, also manifestly the worse for dolo* 
followed him like his shadow, speaking in a thick 
and inarticulate fashion, graced with many hiccoughs. 

Finding that he could make nothing of the royal 
drunkard, Captain Gallieni addressed himself to an 
old man who had been regarding the white men with 
an air of much interest, and who now pushed his way 
through the crowd of women and children whom curi- 
osity had collected around the strangers. 

This old man informed Captain Gallieni and his 
companions that on the spot where the camp was 
now pitched had stood the house of Mansa Numma, 
the king of all Fouladougou, then a rich and power- 
ful monarch. " One day — I was not born then," 
continued the man — "a man of strange appearance 

* An intoxicating drink made of fermented millet. 



198 CAPTAIN G ALLIEN VB EXPEDITION. 

appeared on the left bank of the river, in front of the 
village. He called out in an unknown language, and, 
seeing that no one understood his words, plunged into 
the river and landed in the midst of the chief men 
who were gathered on the bank. One gave him a 
house for the night, another brought couscous and 
milk, and all treated him hospitably. In depart- 
ing, the white chief left behind him fine presents. 
He showed himself kind and generous, and amply- 
repaid the king for his hospitality by presenting him 
with a beautiful silver bracelet. That bracelet had 
always been worn by the head of the royal family, 
until the fatal day when El Hadj pillaged the 
treasure of the chiefs of Fouladougou, and carried 
away the bracelet to Segou." The speaker concluded 
by saying that the white men whom he was address- 
ing were richer than the one who had come long ago, 
and that they would show themselves equally gen- 
erous by replacing the lost bracelet, and by making 
other presents still more beautiful. 

This speech was listened to by Captain Gallieni 
and his companions with the greatest interest. It 
was the first traces they had come upon of Mungo 
Park, their predecessor in these regions, and the ex- 
plorers experienced a legitimate satisfaction in resting 
on the spot which the illustrious English traveller 
had chosen for his encampment sixty-five years ago, 
and where no European had been since. Captain 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 199 

Gallieni, having consulted the narrative of that pioneer 
of African exploration, discovered a trifling detail 
omitted by the old Malinke' — namely, that the white 
man had been robbed by the grandfather of the then 
reigning king. 

The next halt was made at Manambougou, a little 
village enclosed between the peak of Gote"krou and a 
lofty mountain range, and lying at the bottom of a 
lovely valley. The fortunate inhabitants of this 
beautiful little corner of the world are very different 
in character from their savage neighbours of Gonio- 
kori, being docile, quiet, and remarkably well clothed. 
The chief, accompanied by several of his suite, came 
to welcome the white men, with much natural dig- 
nity — a noble old man, with a tranquil and intelli- 
gent face, wearing a long and very becoming cloak, 
a turban on his head, and bearing a fine carved staff 
in his hand. His costume and bearing recalled in no 
slight degree the figures of the Bible patriarchs. 
Captain Gallieni learned that the old chief had trav- 
elled a great deal, and that he was well beloved by 
his people. 

Beyond Manambougou the march became very diffi- 
cult. It led up a rocky incline, debouching on a 
plateau sloping towards the east, and covered with 
ferruginous gray-stone, slippery for the feet, and offer- 
ing a very toilsome path for the animals. 

At length the Kegneko was gained. This small 



200 CAPTAIN GALLIENVS EXPEDITION. 

stream is from fifteen to twenty yards broad, and 
about fifteen feet in depth. The men, under the 
direction of Sergeant Sadioka and Corporal Benis, 
began to construct an impromptu bridge across the 
river. Two large trees were felled, one on each side 
of the stream, and their trunks, falling crosswise, 
formed a sort of letter X. Along the arms of the 
letter branches were laid longitudinally, and on these 
again were spread leafy shoots of the bamboo, together 
with ferns and grass. When the whole was covered 
with turf, a bridge was formed sufficiently strong and 
secure, across which the whole caravan passed in 
safety. 

A long and difficult march brought the travellers 
to Bondoro, a village in the Kita country, and they 
were presently at the base of the famous mountain 
of Kita. An hour later, the young King Tokonta 
met the strangers at the entrance of his village, and 
bade them welcome with great courtesy. 

Tokonta had got ready for the accommodation of 
his guests a spacious hut, which, however, was found 
to be too near the village. The camp was accordingly 
pitched at a distance of three or four hundred yards 
off, in the middle of the plain. The first goal of the 
expedition had now been reached, and the leader 
judged it expedient to rest his followers and himself 
for a few days, before taking the route for the Niger. 

Kita — or rather Makadiambougo, for Kita is the 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI 'S EXPEDITION. 203 

name of the whole region — may be called the key of 
all this part of the Soudan, and in a commercial aspect 
occupies a position of the greatest importance. On 
one side it commands the road to the Niger, and on 
the other that leading to the territories of the Moors. 

The object of the expedition at Kita was to con- 
clude a treaty with the king, which should place the 
country under the protectorate of France. Captain 
Gallieni hoped to establish at Makadiambougo a 
military and commercial station, which might open 
up a way to central Soudan. He began, therefore, 
without delay negotiations with Tokonta. But he 
was met at the outset with difficulties, unexpected but 
easy enough of explanation. 

Kita is very near Mourgoula, the Toucouleur 
fortress which holds in subjection all the Malinke 
population, from Manding as far as Fouladougou. 
On the other hand, Nioro, ruled by Mountaga, the 
brother of the king of Segou, is not far off towards 
the north. Thus the king of Kita finds himself most 
inconveniently situated between two enemies, and has 
often, to avoid ruin to himself, to separate his cause 
from that of the other Malinke' peoples, and to take no 
part in their attempts at revolt. He must take every 
occasion of proving his fidelity to Amadou. It is 
easily understood, therefore, why Tokonta hesitated 
about allying himself to the French, the declared ene- 
mies of the Toucouleurs. " No doubt," said he, " the 



204 CAPTAIN GALLTENI'S EXPEDITION. 

French are rich and powerful ; but they are far away 
from my country." 

Days passed in these negotiations. Tokonta main- 
tained a silent and reserved attitude, though, in truth, 
he was in great agitation as to the outcome of the 
parley. Alpha Sega, the interpreter to the expedi- 
tion, received carte-blanche in regard to presents with 
which to win over the chief. The interviews between 
Alpha Sega and the native notables were accompanied 
by a large consumption of dolo, or maize beer, of 
which all the Malinke nations are extremely fond ; 
and often did the interpreter return at night to Cap- 
tain Gallieni, to report the result of the day's parley, 
with his utterance much impaired by the severe labours 
of the day. 

At length Captain Gallieni and his lieutenants hit 
upon a device to bring the wavering Tokonta to a final 
decision. The chief was at feud with the neighbour- 
ing village of Goubanko, and the French leader threat- 
ened, unless the king came to terms, to treat with the 
enemy. An envoy was actually despatched to Gou- 
banko to carry out this project. Tokonta became 
alarmed, and, after a little further parley, agreed to 
sign the treaty. 

On the 25th April, the king of Kita, surrounded 
by his sons and the chiefs and notables, set his sig- 
nature to the document which placed all the Kita 
territory under the protectorate of France, and au- 



CAPTAIN OALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 205 

thorized that nation to erect, on any site they might 
choose, such stations and establishments as they should 
judge fit. 

Captain Gallieni desired to celebrate this signal 
episode in the history of the mission in some fitting 
way, and at the desire of Tokonta a military spectacle 
was arranged by the expedition. 

All the preliminaries being ready, the camp pre- 
sented a quite brilliant appearance. The tirailleurs 
and the spahis, wearing their handsome Oriental cos- 
tumes, formed one side of a square. The muleteers 
and ass-drivers had also exchanged their travel- worn 
clothes of every day for bright white and blue jackets, 
which were kept stowed away for grand occasions 
such as the present. The black sailors did duty as 
artillerymen, taking up their position at one angle of 
the square. The leaders themselves had donned hand- 
some cloaks of white flannel, slashed with black ; and 
in a word, everything was done to excite the imagina- 
tion of the Malinkes, who crowded from every quarter 
to be present at the spectacle. As for Alpha Sega, 
the interpreter, he shone resplendent in a grand Turk- 
ish military costume, covered with gold braiding — a 
dress which was destined for Amadou, but which was 
lent to Alpha Sega for this occasion. In the centre 
of the square a tall flagstaff was raised, from which 
fluttered a large tricolor : and Captain Gallieni re- 
cords how the hearts of himself and his companions 



206 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

beat at beholding their national colours floating over 
the plains of Kita, the possession of which secured to 
France all the valley of the Bakhoy, the direct route 
to the Niger. 

The tirailleurs executed their various military move- 
ments ; then the rapid discharge of the chassepots 
excited the wonder of the savage spectators. But the 
enthusiasm rose to a height when the spahis, wearing 
their turbans and beautiful red mantles, curveted 
over the plain, cutting the air this way and that with 
their sabres, their handsome horses at full gallop. 
During these manoeuvres the ass-drivers fired their 
guns, and the small cannons manned by the black sailors 
kept up an unceasing fusilade. Never before had 
the onlookers beheld a scene so striking, and their 
admiration approached stupefaction. 

Thus the negotiations at Kita were terminated with 
eclat, and lengthy despatches were sent off to M. 
Briere de ITsle, under the care of a son of Tokonta, 
advising him of the success of the mission thus far. 

The departure of the expedition from Kita took 
place on April 27th. The beasts of burden had suf- 
fered much of late from sore backs, and several of the 
mules and asses were dying every day. Twenty-one 
animals died in all, and their loads had to be distri- 
buted among the surviving mules and asses, already 
reduced almost to the extremity of weakness. For- 
tunately, a rich plain was presently reached, which 



IF- — 
m 

IT*', J ■ ■ 




CAPTAIN QALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 209 

afforded an ample supply of grass ; and soon after, 
the caravan halted on the banks of the Bandingho. 

Dr. Tautain immediately set about devising mea- 
sures for crossing the river. The passage looked im- 
practicable. Steep banks, between thirty and forty 
feet high, formed a lofty barrier, blocked up with 
great masses of gray stone. The right bank, rising in 
a peak, was composed of stiff" red clay, almost as hard 
as rock. The left bank was a little less difficult of 
access, and led to a ford not very deep, and sufficiently 
easy to cross. 

Dr. Tautain applied himself to the situation with 
zeal. The tirailleurs succeeded in making a sort of 
staircase for the animals in the left bank ; but shovel 
and pick were of little avail against the stiff" soil of 
the opposite bank, and the workmen had to be con- 
tent with constructing a rough and irregular escalade. 

The mules had now to be got across this stairway. 
The muleteers, assisted by the spahis and tirailleurs, 
endeavoured to make the crossing ; but it was labour 
lost. They easily enough descended the pathway 
made in the left bank, but were altogether unable to 
ascend the cliff' on the right bank. At this juncture 
Sambo came to the rescue. Disengaging one of the 
long cords that secured the loads, he passed it round 
the croup of a mule, while the two ends were grasped 
by men standing on the top of the bank. A muleteer, 
grasping hold of some bushes which had contrived to 

(94) 14 



210 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

take root in that hard soil, dragged the mule by the 
bridle. At a given signal, the poor beast, dragged by 
the bridle and pulled by the rope from above, was at 
last hoisted to the top of the cliff. 

About mid-day the ford presented a curious scene; — 
one of the cliffs covered with animals with long-eared 
heads, all pointed towards the river ; the other bank 
crowded with the tirailleurs still engaged in finishing 
the escalade, and hard at work with pick and shovel ; 
mid-way an odd medley of asses thirstily drinking, 
natives assisting in getting the animals across, and 
doing all with faces of almost preternatural gravity, — 
the whole picture framed in by the great trees which 
covered the lofty banks of the Bandingho. 

At last, an hour after sunset, the work was over 
and the transit of the entire caravan completed. No 
mishap had befallen, and the fatigues of the day were 
quickly forgotten by all over a good dinner. 

The march was resumed on the following day in 
good order and in good spirits. On the 30 th April 
the caravan passed the mountains of Bangassi, the 
sight of which recalled to the travellers recollections 
of Mungo Park, who makes mention of this range in 
his journal. The surrounding country is desolate and 
barren. 

The caravan at this stage began to suffer from 
thirst, and Alassane and two others of the guides were 
sent forward to search for water. Fortunately an 




CROSSING THE BANDINQHO. 



Page log. 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 213 

abundant water-course was discovered not far off, and 
on its banks the camp was pitched. The borders of 
the stream were covered with the tracks of animals of 
large size, among which were the prints of lions, 
antelopes, and giraffes. 

Rain fell in deluges during the night, and the 
camp was well-nigh inundated. Little sleep was 
enjoyed by any one, and the day was welcomed with 
relief. This heavy rainfall warned the travellers of 
the approach of winter — an uneasy thought, for the 
flooding of the rivers and creeks would considerably 
increase the difficulties of the march, while the damp 
malarious weather would, in all probability, materially 
lower the general health of the camp. 

Gallieni had ever present in his memory that ill- 
fated expedition of Mungo Park in this very region, 
when his comrades perished one by one. Out of 
thirty -nine who accompanied that explorer from 
Gambia, five alone returned with him to Bammakoo. 

The morning of May 1st was entirely occupied in 
" drying the camp " — tents, blankets, saddles, and 
raiment — a mighty fire having been built for this 
purpose. Suddenly, while engaged in this business, 
the general attention was attracted by a loud noise 
and movement in that part of the camp nearest the 
river. Everybody — spahis, tirailleurs, muleteers, and 
ass-drivers — rushed to the bank, brandishing all kinds 
of weapons, — guns, swords, lances, sticks ; Yoro the 



214 CAPTAIN Q ALLIEN VS EXPEDITION. 

chef among the rest, interrupted while in the pre- 
paration of dinner, flourishing his cook's knife. Old 
Sambo declared that the cause of the commotion was 
a tiger, which, surprised by a spahi who had been 
taking his horse to drink, had plunged into the river. 

Captain Gallieni and the other leaders seized their 
rifles, and were immediately in the thick of the crowd. 
N'Gor Faye, the hunter of Kobaboulinda, was already 
mid-way in the stream in pursuit of the creature 
which had raised such a commotion. The throng' on 
the bank shouted and gesticulated, making an uproar 
of which it was impossible to discover the real cause. 
For a long time the object of the chase remained 
beneath the water in a manner that made it difficult 
to believe the creature either a tiger or a panther. 
At length there appeared above the surface the head 
of a large otter, which soon fell the prey of N'Gor 
Faye. When Sambo was rallied about his tiger, he 
was equal to the occasion, replying, " Well, the otter 
is the water-tiger !" 

The next most important halt made by the expedi- 
tion was at Koundou, the principal village of Foula- 
dougou, containing some seven or eight hundred 
inhabitants. Lieutenant Valliere, in advance of the 
main body of the caravan, had prepared the way for 
the reception of the expedition at Koundou. He had 
been met by the chief and his warriors in a hilarious 
and excited condition from over -draughts of dolo. 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 215 

But on the following day, when the effects of the 
revel had disappeared, the king and notables of 
Koundou had listened favourably to Lieutenant Val- 
liere's overtures, accompanied as they were by a pres- 
ent of cloths. Thus when Captain Gallieni arrived 
with the main body he was hospitably welcomed by 
the Koundou chieftain. 

The river Baoule" divides the Malinke's from the 
Bambarras, the Fouladougou country from the Be'le- 
dougou. The latter is a fine country, well watered by 
the Baoule" and its affluents, and characterized by the 
luxuriance of its vegetation. Some two hundred and 
fifty villages, hidden in dells and hollows, and sur- 
rounded with strong walls, occupy the cleared spaces in 
the forest. The inhabitants of this vast territory are 
at constant feud among themselves or with their 
neighbours, and live almost entirely by pillage. 

The Fouladougou natives showed a hostile front to 
the expedition. At Guinina, when Captain Gallieni 
sought an interview with the chief, a handsome old 
man of stalwart carriage, the latter received the white 
leader coldly, and told him plainly that he neither 
trusted him nor understood his intentions. 

" For whom," said he, " are all these presents that 
you bring with you? " 

The unfriendliness of the negro king was evident, 
and Captain Gallieni felt sure that he would lose no 
favourable opportunity of showing it. Under these 



216 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

circumstances the leader took all expedient precautions 
against possible surprise. The camp was strengthened 
and protected as far as it could be by piling up the 
baggage so as to form a sort of rampart. The spahis 
and muleteers were stationed on guard on one side of 
the encampment, the tirailleurs on the other, while the 
animals were placed in the middle, where also the 
tent of the leaders was pitched. At the angles of the 
square thus formed were placed the guns (mounted 
on carriages constructed from the trunks of trees), 
directed upon the gates of the village, and on the 
forest surrounding the open space where the camp 
was pitched. 

In the evening the guard of spahis and tirailleurs 
was doubled, and from time to time Captain Gallieni 
caused coloured lights and rockets to be discharged, 
with the object of striking awe into the hearts of the 
natives. Later in the night, when all was silent about 
the camp, a patrol of the village walls was made, when 
a loud noise as of men in eager discussion was heard 
within. Two of Captain Gallieni's native followers 
who understood the Bambarra language announced 
that the debate referred to an attack upon the white 
men, who " had come into the Be'le'dougou country to 
deceive the people, and to aid the Toucouleurs in sub- 
jugating them." 

On the following morning, May 9th, Captain Gal- 
lieni sent to ask the Guinina chief for guides for the 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 217 

journey, when the old king, who had shown himself so 
cold on the previous day, not only proposed to send 
guides but also men to help in carrying the baggage. 
Captain Gallieni, however, was not duped by this 
excess of complaisance. Next day, the old man, 
impressed no doubt by seeing the guns directed 
upon the walls of his village, did actually provide five 
guides chosen from his own household, in return for 
which service he was to receive a satisfactory present 
— four pieces of yellow cloth, six swords, a keg of 
rum, etc. Captain Gallieni thought it expedient to 
accept these conditions. The guides were received ; 
and by mid-day everything was ready for the march. 

In the evening of the same day the caravan reached 
Dio. Here the same defensive precautions were 
taken as at Guinina. When the leader sought 
audience of the chief he found his path barred by a 
group of natives, who informed him that the king 
was too old to leave his house, and that he had 
charged them to receive the white man and treat him 
with hospitality. 

The village itself seemed to contain very few in- 
habitants, for within the walls almost total silence 
reigned. These ambassadors of the king, however, 
seemed disposed to be friendly, assuring the strangers 
that they had nothing to fear. They promised guides 
for the morrow, and one of the king's brothers offered 
himself to accompany the expedition as far as the Niger. 



218 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

The situation appeared to be becoming less "strained," 
in diplomatic phrase ; but at night, the patrol which 
Captain Gallieni had despatched to reconnoitre the 
walls brought back word to the camp that the village, 
which had appeared to be empty of inhabitants, was, 
in reality, full of warriors, who were now planning an 
attack upon the expedition. The crisis was a suf- 
ficiently grave one, for every path back to the 
Senegal was closed to the explorers, and for a little it 
seemed as if nothing remained but to sell their lives 
dearly. 

Early on the morning of the 11th Captain Gallieni 
despatched a handsome present to the chief of Dio, 
and received in turn six large bags of millet, together 
with the promise of two good guides. Here the five 
youths of Guinina, who were to accompany the cara- 
van as far as the Niger, informed Captain Gallieni 
that they were fatigued and wished to return home. 

Shortly after mid-day the caravan was in motion, 
following a straight path for the Baoule. A death- 
like silence reigned around. The village, the forest, 
the river, all seemed deserted. There was something 
mysterious and ominous in the intense stillness. 

"You'll see, captain," said Barka, the old Senegalee, — 
" you'll see, something's going to happen." 

The stream was crossed without difficulty, and the 
horsemen were penetrating the forest, every eye on 
the watch, the muskets slung across the saddle, the 



CAPTAIN G ALLIEN VS EXPEDITION. 221 

revolvers ready to the hand. Some minutes passed. 
The guide, under the pretext of avoiding a difficult 
path for the animals, led the way to the right, through 
a narrow ravine bounded by lofty and steep slopes. 
Captain Gallieni felt sure that they had left the right 
path, and immediately arrested the guide, who, with 
feigned amazement, threw himself at the leader's feet, 
and rent the air with his protestations. Barka 
silenced the fellow's howling at the sword point. 

At that moment a discharge of musketry was heard 
in the direction of the river, and before the echoes had 
ceased in the forest, a horde of yelling savages were 
pouring from all sides upon the caravan. 

For a moment all was confusion, for the attack was 
so sudden and at such close quarters that Gallieni's 
men were unable to use their arms. Presently, how- 
ever, the spahis and tirailleurs rallied in an open 
space of ground, and pouring upon their assailants a 
deadly fire very soon cleared a circle around them. 
After hard fighting, some ruined battlements which 
had once formed part of the wall of Dio were gained, 
and here good vantage-ground was found from which 
to conduct the defence. The caravan was not a 
moment too soon in escaping from the deadly cul-de- 
sac into which it had fallen. The enemy continued 
the attack with shot and spear, but the fire was 
returned with equal energy. In the first confusion of 
the surprise, the caravan had got separated into two 



222 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

parts, and the rear, consisting chiefly of the beasts of 
burden and their conductors, was still close to the 
river, under the command of Dr. Tautain. 

The savages fought fiercely in their native fashion, 
while Captain Gallieni's men, enraged at the treachery 
of the Beleris, maintained an indomitable front, obeying 
the leader's orders with perfect coolness, and exclaim- 
ing that they would fight to the last extremity. They 
threw themselves in front of the leader's horse and 
covered him with their own bodies ! Again and again 
Barka, leading the spahis, returned from the combat 
with his sabre red with blood, only to recover breath 
enough to renew his impetuous onslaught. Captain 
Gallieni records that his natives showed a courage, oil 
this occasion of terrible odds, worthy of European 
veterans. 

By-and-by, the havoc which followed the fire of 
Captain Gallieni's men, the courage of the tirailleurs 
and spahis, the invulnerability which seemed to 
shield the white men — all this cooled the ardour of 
the Beleris, and the battle had not lasted more than 
half an hour, when Captain Gallieni succeeded in 
cutting a path through the enemy and in rejoining 
the rear part of the caravan. As they did so, 
they beheld the interpreter Alassane carrying Dr. 
Tautain on the croup of his saddle, followed by the 
survivors of the rear-guard. The doctor had been 
forced to dismount from his horse early in the fray, 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI 'S EXPEDITION. 223 

the animal having become restive and unmanageable, 
and had headed his men on foot until the over- 
whelming numbers of the enemy had compelled him 
and his little band to retreat. 

As rapidly as possible the leaders now began to 
reorganize the caravan. The most expedient course 
seemed to be to make for the Niger, which Captain 
Gallieni hoped by forced marching to reach by the 
next morning. 

Everything was at last ready for the retreat. The 
dead and wounded, to the number of forty in all, were 
placed on the horses and mules. The spahis led the 
caravan under the guidance of Barka, who received 
orders to strike directly for the east, and to hold on 
his way through all opposing difficulties. In silence 
and sadness the march towards the Niger began, 
through an unknown country, beset with enemies on 
every side. 

The caravan quitted the basin of the Senegal only 
to enter that of the Niger. As the travellers ap- 
proached the neighbourhood of the great river, a 
walled village was sighted, situated at the foot of a 
range of hills, and a group of natives, watching their 
herds and surprised at the approach of the caravan. 

At the same time it was announced to Captain 
Gallieni that the Beleris were close behind, and were 
gathering on the surrounding heights. 

What was to be done ? It seemed better to approach 



224 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

the people of this new village, which might possibly 
belong to the Bammakou country, rather than to risk 
a second conflict with the Bambarras. Gallieni 
accordingly drew near the group of natives, which 
was rapidly increasing in numbers. They sat silent 
and motionless now, not disturbed by the sight of a 
white man approaching them alone and unarmed. 
Through Alassane the interpreter, Captain Gallieni 
recounted the events of the previous day — the treason 
of the Bambarras towards a man who was the friend 
of Bammakou, and who had come to that village as a 
peace-maker, under the conduct of the son of one of 
the greatest chiefs of that country. 

The natives listened attentively, and at the close of 
Gallieni's speech assured him that he need fear 
nothing further at the hands of the Beleris. Then 
one brought water and another calabashes of native 
wine, and the white man was reassured. 

On the following day the new allies provided 
guides, the march was resumed, and at mid-day the 
Niger was beheld afar, rolling through the plain in 
an easterly direction. But how different was the 
arrival of the expedition at the great river from what 
had been hoped for ! The caravan was, in truth, in a 
pitiable plight, deprived of almost all resources and 
ignorant of what might happen'bn the morrow. 

A little later, Captain Gallieni was met by Albdar- 
amane, who brought news of Lieutenants Valliere and 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 225 

Pietri. It must here be explained that Valliere had 
separated from Gallieni at Kita, and had by this time 
arrived at Bammakou, where a treaty had been con- 
eluded which placed that village under the protec- 
torate of the French. 

At one o'clock of the same day Captain Gallieni 
himself reached Bammakou, where he was met by 
Pietri and Valliere, who soon placed him in possession 
of all that had happened since they parted. They 
had been well received at Be'le'dougou and at Dio, 
while at Bammakou their welcome had been of the 
most sympathetic kind. 

The camp was pitched before Bammakou, an im- 
portant station, whose influence extends throughout 
all the region of the Upper Niger, from Timbuctoo as 
far as Tangrela and Sierra Leone. Yet it is no more 
than a village, occupying an isolated position in a 
little corner of Be'le'dougou, with a population of not 
more than eight hundred. 

Since the night of the 8th at Guinina no individual 
in the camp had closed an eye ; the wounded were in 
a most pitiable condition, some of the men suffering 
from four or five wounds — rest was indispensable for 
all. Unfortunately, the reception accorded to Captain 
Gallieni at Bammakou, unlike that of Valliere and 
Pietri, was cold in the extreme. The story of the 
pillage of the expedition at the hands of the Beleris 
had now reached Bammakou, and the people feared to 

(94) 15 



226 CAPTAIN OALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

compromise themselves with the Beleris. To the salu- 
tation which Captain Gallieni sent to the chief the 
latter replied : " A great misfortune has befallen you, 
for which I can provide no remedy. All I can do is 
to suffer you to depart with your possessions." 

We must here interrupt for a little the story of the 
main expedition, under the leadership of Captain 
Gallieni, to give the narrative of Lieutenant Valliere, 
who separated from Captain Gallieni at Kita for the 
purpose of exploring the valley of the Bakhoy. 
This journey was made through a region hitherto 
unvisited by any European. 

The expedition had rested ten days at Kita, and 
then, while the main body of the caravan directed its 
march towards the east by way of Bangassi, a small 
detachment under the command of Lieutenant Valliere 
took the road to Mourgoula. 

After a pretty long stage the village of Goubanko 
was reached, at the gates of which Lieutenant Valliere 
was met by a party of men who seemed about to oppose 
the entrance of himself and his followers. On request- 
ing to be conducted to the chief, Lieutenant Valliere was 
presented to a number of old men seated on the ground. 
All were blind, and so old as to have lost the power of 
articulate speech ! To a younger man Valliere explained 
that his mission was entirely one of peace. The young 
man thanked the white man simply, and the old chiefs 
mumbled some confused words of gratitude. 



CAPTAIN OALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 227 

Goubanko is a strongly fortified village, and its in- 
habitants are an energetic people. Lieutenant 
Valliere was struck with the fine features of the 
notables of the place, the paleness of their complexion, 
and the reserved dignity of their manners. In the 
evening Captain Gallieni and four spahis entered the 
camp, and the two white leaders were a little later 
engaged in a palaver with the people of the village, 
in which the affairs of Kita were fully discussed. 
The scene was a curious one. The night had fallen ; 
no light, save that of the stars and what came from 
two forges hard by, lit up the assembly; and the 
swarthy forms and faces of the natives gleamed fan- 
tastically in the half-light. 

The next day Lieutenant Valliere again set out. 
Khoumo the guide was not to be found, and another 
had to be obtained in his place. While the little 
troop was proceeding quietly through a forest, a spahi 
galloped up to the leader and handed him a letter, the 
perusal of which explained the enigmatic conduct of 
Master Khoumo. At Kita the guide had carried off 
two women, whom he had hidden at Goubanko, which 
village he had just quitted. This escapade had caused 
Captain Gallieni considerable annoyance, and he had 
sent word to Lieutenant Valliere to send back the 
women. 

Khoumo's arrival in camp was sufficiently ludicrous. 
He was riding at a trot, one of the women before 



228 CAPTAIN OALLIENVS EXPEDITION. 

him, the other behind. His ugly face peered 
comically from under a big straw hat, between the 
faces of his fair companions. The panting and 
smoking steed looked as if protesting against his 
unusual burden, and not quite able to make out the 
six legs dangling across his back. 

Khoumo dismounted amid the laughter of his 
fellows, followed by the two dusky Helens, silent 
with astonishment at all that was happening. On 
Khoumo being ordered to return the two stolen 
women at once, he answered that he had not stolen 
them ; that he loved Aisse" to distraction, and that the 
other loved him as violently, and would follow him in 
spite of everything ! In the face of the fact that the 
gallant was of conspicuous ugliness, this statement of 
the case was extremely ludicrous. Moreover, certain 
parcels of calico and guinea-cloth which the ladies 
were carrying tended to put a different complexion 
upon the story. 

Lieutenant Valliere ordered the spahi to take the 
two women, while Khoumo rent the air with his 
lamentations, shrieking, " Aissd ! Aisse* ! " Five 
minutes later, the party having resumed the march, 
Valliere heard the heart-broken lover explaining in a 
light tone to his comrades that the captain had acted 
quite right, and that he (Khoumo) had got his deserts. 

Some hours later, when the party were resting in 
the heat of the day beneath a leafy screen of trees, 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 229 

Lieutenant Valliere discovered that Khoumo had again 
vanished. At mid-day he reappeared covered with 
dust and perspiration. He had followed the spahi 
and Aisse', and suborned the former to give up his 
lady-love. Valliere peremptorily ordered Khoumo to 
say where he had hidden Aisse' a second time. The 
rascal stammered and hesitated, and then called 
" Aisse' ! " who presently issued from her hiding-place, 
a few yards from the camp. The spahi once more took 
possession of the woman ; while Khoumo, giving way 
to a fit of passion, refused to accompany the party 
any longer, caught up a gun, and threatened to shoot 
any one who approached him. He was seized and 
disarmed, and it was made plain to him that if he 
tried to escape he would be at once shot. 

In the afternoon Lieutenant Valliere quitted 
Bammakou, and directed his course for the lagoon of 
Delaba, but soon found his march obstructed by a 
succession of pools forming a channel now almost dry. 
The guide informed him that they had reached 
Delaba, and the leader decided to camp here. To- 
wards nightfall a violent wind arose, the lightning 
flashed, and a thunder-clap split a lemon-tree close to 
the camp. The party were wholly without shelter, 
and were presently exposed to the full fury of a 
tornado of unusual violence. The dust enveloped 
them in a whirlwind, while their faces and hands were 
literally whipped by the pebbles which the fury of the 



230 CAPTAIN GALLIENVS EXPEDITION. 

storm raised. The men durst open neither eyes nor 
mouth for fear of being blinded or stifled, and all 
thought with dread of the long night before them. 
The rain had already begun, and a night of exposure 
to tropical rain often means a fever next day. 

Fortunately, the tornado was as short-lived as it was 
furious ; the rain came to nothing. The storm was of 
a sort characteristic of these latitudes towards the 
approach of the winter season. 

On the same evening Lieutenant Valliere received 
a letter from Captain Gallieni by the hands of a native 
porter, and set out next morning, hoping to reach 
Mourgoula the same day. The march led first through 
a beautiful forest country, and afterwards across great 
expanses covered with small stones, and presenting the 
curious appearance of having been rained upon by a 
thick shower of pebbles. 

At two o'clock Sitakoto was reached, and a party 
of negroes met with — caravans from the Upper Niger, 
as usual, with a train of male and female slaves ; a 
miserable sight, from which the white leader was glad 
to turn away his eyes. 

The party were extremely wearied with a long day's 
march, and Valliere's temples throbbed so violently 
that for a little he feared he had received a sun- 
stroke. By keeping his head for a little time in a 
bucket of cold water, however, the pain was alle- 
viated. 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 233 

The chief of Sitakoto arrived presently, and declared 
himself honoured by a visit from the white man ; and 
regretted that, owing to his poverty, he could not give 
him a fitting reception. All Lieutenant Valliere said 
he wished was provisions for his party, for which he 
would amply pay. Millet proved very scarce, and 
was only procurable at double the usual price. 

Late in the afternoon Mourgoula was reached. A 
tall Toucouleur, of forbidding aspect, requested Lieu- 
tenant Valliere to follow him. The white man was then 
informed that Almamy could not receive him at pres- 
ent, and that he was at liberty to camp where he chose. 

Next morning Almamy still refused to see the 
white leader. Valliere told the chief that it was the 
governor of St. Louis's business, and that he could 
only set out again with regret that he had not seen 
Almamy. This had the desired effect : the chief 
commanded the white man's presence. 

Five or six grave personages were squatted round 
the king, who occupied a clean hut, and sat on a 
carpet of sheep-skins. An empty bench was placed 
for Lieutenant Valliere to sit on, and a sabre was 
laid at his feet. Almamy wore a mask which covered 
all his face except the eyes, and his head was adorned 
with a large turban. Valliere saluted him, explained 
the object of the mission, and gave him a letter from 
the governor of Senegal. Almamy demanded why 
Kita and Goubanko had been reconciled without his 



234 t •M'TMN <:.\ u.ikni 's i:\ I'i:i>iti<>.\. 

being consulted. Was lie not, the terril orial chief of 
the country '. 

This brusque reception surprised Valliere a good 
deal ; but ho tried to show Almamy that Captain 
Gallicni liad acted with all honourable intentions in 
arbitrating between the two villages. Alinainy now 
read the letter, and his I'aee cleared somewhat. 

" The governor of St. Louis speaks well. Thou art 
going to Amadou. I.e. welcome. I am only the eye 
of my master." 

The eilief then offered a guide; and on Lieutenant 
Valliere requesting that a courier should be sent 

forward with a letter of explanation, consented. 
Iwnally, the white leader quitted Almamy on the hest 
of terms, having presented him with a gun and a 
handsome mantle, while his wives received bottles of 
scent, jeweli-y, etc. 

In the evening Almamy returned his guest's visit. 

He Was now unmasked, and revealed a face of amiable 
aspect, with soft eyes. Was this the ferocious tyrant 
of report' Almamy had surely the gift of masking 
In countenance when he chose in more senses than 
one. The chief thanked the white man for his pre 
ent, as did his daughter on bended knees. 

When Lieutenant Valliere had quitted the village, 

he learned that Almamy had secretly hesitated about 
allowing him to continue his journey : thus skilful 
are the Toueouleurs in the ait of dissimulation. 



CAPTAIN OALLIENI'8 EXPEDITION. 888 

After a difficult march the travellers reached Kou- 
kouroni. Lieutenant Valliere found the inhabitants 
a poor and miserable people, who had suffered severely 
at the hands of the Toucouleurs. They gathered 
about the white strangers in attitudes of the utmost 
humility, and when a gun was discharged thought it 
witchcraft. The camp was visited by a little girl of 
such conspicuous beauty that Lieutenant Valliere 
transmitted her graceful form and charming face to 
the pages of his sketch-book. She had very beauti- 
ful, soft, and dreamy eyes, shining hair crowned with 
a coronet of glass beads, while her figure was the 
personification of natural grace. The poor people 
were dumb with astonishment at the approximate 
likeness which Valliere succeeded in catching of the 
little Koukouroni beauty. 

On the 2nd of May the party reached Niagakoura, 
a miserable village with some hundred inhabitants, 
situated in the middle of a desert. After a long and 
weary march through a hot and stony country, the 
travellers at length camped beside a beautiful little 
river, thrice welcome after the excessive heat of the 
journey. A more favourable camping-ground could 
not be desired than under the cool shadow of the 
trees that bordered the stream. A bath refreshed the 
weary travellers, and a dish of perch from the river 
made a welcome change for supper. 

The region through which Lieutenant Valliere was 



236 CAPTAIN 6 ALLIEN I'S EXPEDITION. 

now travelling receives the general name of Birgo — 
a well-watered and fertile country, containing but a 
scanty population. The people wear little clothing — 
the women wearing a girdle only, and the children 
going entirely naked. The agricultural products of 
the country are chiefly maize and millet and a little 
cotton. No oxen are seen anywhere, and only a very 
few sheep and goats. Butter-trees abound ; the people 
gathering only enough of the fruit to serve their im- 
mediate wants. The people have abandoned hunting. 
Although one of the chief commercial roads of West 
Soudan crosses the country, it leads to no trade with 
these people, who are too poor to buy cloth, and are 
limited to the exchange of glass beads and such like 
for provisions with the passing caravans. The natives 
are among the best favoured physically of the Soudan 
tribes, and the country possesses many natural advan- 
tages. Their miserable condition is due to the baneful 
rule of the Toucouleurs. When this is replaced by a 
milder and more beneficent government, prosperity 
and happiness may yet return to Birgo. 

Lieutenant Valliere quitted with regret the beauti- 
ful camp, and, resuming the march, reached the walled 
village of Niagassola, a considerable, place, with a 
population of one thousand. Valliere presented him- 
self to the king, and explained as usual the object of 
the mission. The chief, an old man of tall and stal- 
wart aspect, replied that the stranger was welcome, 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 237 

and that his ancestors had ever treated the white man 
with hospitality. 

Three days' march to the south of Niagassola lies 
Boure, a little republic governed by the heads of four 
families. An industrious people, little given to war, 
occupy the country in security and peace. Lieuten- 
ant Valliere visited Boure, and was received by the 
reigning prince with much circumstance and ceremony, 
which, intended to be impressive, was not a little 
comical. After a good deal of preliminary state 
etiquette, the white leader was permitted to shake 
hands with the aged chief, whom he subsequently 
presented with a beautiful rifle. 

On the 5 th of May the party reached Koumakhana, 
situated in an important gold country, whose mines 
constitute the entire wealth of the people. The 
natives work the mines wholly with the pick. When 
the workmen have reached a certain depth they draw 
up the siftings in calabashes attached to cords ; and in 
order to facilitate their descent into the mines, they 
cut holes in the walls for their hands and feet. 

The neighbouring pools supply the facilities for 
washing the gold. The more delicate operation of 
washing the mineral is intrusted to the women. The 
auriferous earth, having been extracted from the 
mine, is placed in calabashes filled with clear water. 
The workers keep the calabashes moving in a circle, 
and gradually the quartz, separating itself from the 



238 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

gravel, falls to the bottom of the vessel. Lieutenant 
Valliere was anxious to learn how much gold was 
thus purified and made into ingots, but the Koumak- 
hana miners refused to give him any idea. 

Continuing his journey, Valliere and his comrades 
arrived at a broad plateau bounded by the mountains 
of Manding, stretching east and by south ; and shortly 
after the important village of Narena, with its two 
large gates, was reached. 

Report credited the people of Narena with being 
little given to hospitality, and Lieutenant Valliere was 
able to add his testimony to the same effect. He was, 
in truth, but brusquely received by the chief, and 
deemed it expedient to waste as little time as possible 
in his territory. 

Shortly after quitting Narena, the party gained the 
banks of the beautiful river Amarakoba, whose 
golden waters, flowing over their rocky bed, wander 
on to join the main river. The travellers were here 
followed by a caravan of slaves, composed almost 
entirely of children, who, entirely ignorant of the fate 
awaiting them, played and gambolled about — bathing 
in the river, chasing the fish and insects, and fill- 
ing the air with their shouts and laughter. Lieuten- 
ant Valliere gathered from the leader of the caravan 
many particulars regarding his hateful trade. These 
files of slaves, gathered from all parts of Soudan, 
were to feed the markets of the Upper Niger, where 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 239 

they were sold to the Moors of Sahara. The profits 
accruing from the trade are considerable. 

On the day following the meeting with the slave- 
caravan, the explorers arrived at Mana-Oule', a very 
singular natural conformation, composed of a mountain 
presenting a succession of vertical terraced walls, 
bastioned, as it were, by all sorts of rocky towers, 
which give it the appearance of a gigantic piece of 
mason-work. A little further on Nienkema was 
reached, built at the foot of a picturesque mass of 
rocks ; while a short distance off rose two lofty 
obelisks, formed of graystone. These singular pin- 
nacles inclined forward at so sharp an angle that they 
looked as if threatening at every moment to over- 
whelm the unlucky village at their base. The atten- 
tion of Lieutenant Valliere was arrested by many 
curiously-shaped rocks in this neighbourhood ; some 
like vast colonnades, others like gates and porches, all 
of most odd and unexpected appearance. 

The village of Sibi was next sighted, and the 
leader was pushing on with some impatience to reach 
it, for his men were fatigued with the march and 
the heat, when he was arrested by symptoms of ex- 
treme fear on the part of the guide, who was eagerly 
listening in the direction of the village, while at the 
same time urging silence in the camp. What was up 
now ? thought the leader. 

Lieutenant Valliere now listened in turn, and 



240 CA PTAIN GA LLIENI '5 EXPEDITION. 

thought he heard cries in the distance, repeated at 
short intervals. The guide declared that it would not 
be advisable to approach the village to-day, for that 
these cries betokened the Jcomou. The interpreter 
could not very well explain what that meant, but 
spoke of sorceries and fetes and " beasts of MalinkeV 
Lieutenant Valliere, impatient at the delay, pushed 
on, convinced that there was nothing to fear — Sori, the 
tirailleurs, and the muleteers alone following. The 
guide and the caravan remained where they were, 
overcome by terror. 

As the lieutenant and his followers drew near Sibi, 
the cries became more distinct. The voices of both 
young and old people were heard mingling in a 
sort of wailing, plaintive as the mountain echoes 
dying away in space. At length, after turning a 
small clump of trees, Valliere encountered a young 
Mandingue carrying a calabash containing meal and a 
chicken. The boy uttered a prolonged cry, and run- 
ning up to the strangers, made strenuous gestures with 
the object of arresting their further progress. But 
the sun was beating down on the heads of the trav- 
ellers, and a broad-shadowed bread-fruit tree at the 
gate of the village invited rest. No power on earth 
could have prevented the leader at that moment from 
seeking the protection of its leafy boughs. 

The cause of the commotion was the komou, a re- 
ligious festival which precedes the sowing of the seed. 



CAPTAIN GALLIENVS EXPEDITION. 241 

The Mandingues, like all the Bambarras of the 
Upper Niger, are given over to fetich-worship. 
Each village has its sacred grove, impenetrable except 
by a path barred with thorny branches. Here, in the 
mysterious shade, is held the terrible rite which is 
the master of the destiny of the village and its 
inhabitants. The village attempts no enterprise of 
any hazard without consulting the wishes of the 
fetich. If the people are about to make war, a kid 
is sacrificed, its blood is sprinkled on the sacred stones, 
and by certain signs the sacrificing priest interprets 
the decisions of the fetich. Then the warriors march 
to battle with confidence. 

In the same way, at the approach of seed-time they 
sacrifice to the god in order to obtain a good sprouting 
of the grain ; then comes the fete, which is to insure 
a good harvest ; and lastly, when the granaries are fall, 
another visit to the sacred wood is made, to get the 
assurance that no enemy will have part or lot in the 
harvests of the year. The influence of this super- 
stition makes itself felt throughout the whole social 
life of the people ; and the young woman who desires 
a prosperous marriage offers her sacrifice of eggs, or a 
measure of meal, or any other gift which she thinks 
will be agreeable to the great dispenser of all gifts. 

It is only the male population who have the right 
of approaching the sacred grove, and since early 
morning on the day when Lieutenant Valliere arrived 

(94) 16 



242 CAPTAIN OALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

at Sibi, they had been rending the air with their cries, 
with the object of drawing down the fetich into the 
thicket. 

It will readily be understood how the arrival of 
the strangers interrupted this solemn festival; but the 
old man made a path for the white leader. " Under- 
stand," exclaimed one, " that this white man is the 
first who has visited our country ; and remark, too, that 
he has come, not upon an ordinary day, but in the 
very midst of the komou. Is not the intention of 
the fetich evident ? " And thus the situation of the 
strangers, so menacing in the morning, became more 
favourable. 

With the object of propitiating the notables of 
the village, Lieutenant Valliere prepared a box of 
yellow cloths, which excited universal admiration ; 
probably no such fine stuffs had ever been seen in 
Sibi. The old chief remarked, that the good omen of 
the white man's arrival at this particular season was 
already beginning to bear fruits, and that the present 
komou would be the most memorable in his reign. 

The fete was completely absorbing the whole pop- 
ulation, and Lieutenant Valliere was able to note its 
curious details. Towards noon the cries had ceased, 
and every man, still carrying his calabash of millet 
and chicken, was directing his steps towards the 
sacred wood. There the groups formed themselves in 
silence, and at a given signal all at once raised a 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 243 

great shout. Then the old priests entered the 
thicket and began the sacrifice. It was not possible 
for the spectators to witness the vast hecatombs of 
chickens which then took place within the wood. 

Both old and young men, in a sort of wild delirium, 
then began a strange and excited dance, every one 
striving to twist and contort himself as much as possible. 
The dance continued during the whole time the sac- 
rifices within the wood were going on. There was no 
pause, no intermission ; many dropped down breathless 
on the ground. At last the priests, the holocaust 
finished, emerged from the wood. Then there was a 
sort of assembly held, at the conclusion of which all 
returned to the village with their empty calabashes. 

Presently everybody returned, carrying dry 
branches, and walked in a procession along the path 
leading to the wood. Arrived there, the crowd 
collected before the entrance, and every one began 
violently beating the ground, at the same time uttering 
loud cries. The object of this last ceremony was, it 
appeared, to get the fetich to depart. 

For a short space tranquillity succeeded these 
noisy manifestations ; but the sacred part of the 
programme fairly finished, abundant drinking and 
feasting followed. The place which the revellers chose 
for their merry-making was the beautiful tree under 
which Lieutenant Valliere and his little band were 
encamped. The Lieutenant deemed it prudent to seek 



244 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

the intervention o£ the chief, who presently appeared, 
very much the worse for his deep potations, and 
stammered out a speech which in no wise tended to 
silence the uproar going on around. A sort of fury 
began to take possession of the crowd, and a general 
riot seemed imminent. 

The tipsy old chief began to weep, at which several 
of his subjects strove to console and sustain him. The 
scene became more and more tumultuous, and at last 
Lieutenant Valliere was obliged to draw his revolver 
and threaten the crowd. But by-and-by the groups 
began to disperse themselves over the plain and give 
themselves up to their various diversions. 

On the following morning the travellers resumed 
the march without much regret, and arrived next at 
Nafadie', the chief of which came to meet them — an 
immense man with a great jolly face. He entertained 
the white man hospitably, and provided a sheep for 
his followers. Nafadie is a village with a population 
of about seven hundred. 

One of the villagers told Lieutenant Valliere that 
he had seen a white man, and the leader did not doubt 
but that it was one of the officers of the expedition. 
He asked the man to describe Bammakou, and he 
replied, as others had done, that it was a beautiful 
village, whose leading men were very wealthy. This 
was a pleasant prospect after the desert and the miser- 
able villages of Manding. 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 245 

Lieutenant Valliere's further journey was undis- 
turbed and uneventful. He quitted Nafadie' after 
making liberal presents to the chief, who received 
them with every manifestation of delight, while the 
women prostrated themselves on the ground in token 
of thanks. 

Between Nafadie' and Bammakou the road skirts the 
mountains of Manding, and the Niger. The path is 
well defined and easy. No obstacles were encountered, 
except five small streams, which were easily crossed. 
The last of these — the Balanke — passed, the travellers 
journeyed on with the joy of men whose labours and 
fatigues were over and who were about to rejoin their 
friends. On the following day Bammakou was reached. 
Here a considerable disappointment awaited the leader. 

After all the flattering accounts of Bammakou which 
he had received from time to time from natives, he 
expected to find a large town, an important commercial 
centre. The neighbourhood of an African market is 
usually a bustling and animated scene enough ; the 
approaches are full of traders going and coming. But 
here there was nothing of all this — nothing but the 
profoundest solitude. Lieutenant Valliere was told that 
this state of things was due to wars with the Tou- 
couleurs ; but this did not seem altogether to explain 
the almost absolute want of life in the place. 

But another question soon absorbed Lieutenant 
Valliere. Where was the mission ? With its numerous 



246 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

following, it would have been certain to give life to the 
neighbourhood. The lieutenant's surprise gave place 
to apprehension. Putting his horse to the gallop he 
approached the gate of the village ; but there he was 
stopped by a native, who motioned to him mysteriously. 
This reception increased his anxiety ; but he was 
presently reassured by the sight of Lieutenant Pietri. 
In a few words he was made aware of the situation. 
Bammakou was now nothing more than a big village, 
ruined by war, and without commercial importance. 
As to Captain Gallieni and his followers, they were 
still to arrive, and Pietri had had no communication 
with them for many days. Rumours of the intended 
attack upon the mission had arrived, however ; and as 
no word of their comrades reached Valliere and Pietri 
during the evening, they were filled with anxiety. 
Their anxious forebodings were sufficiently realized, 
for next day they were to learn the misfortune 
which had overtaken and all but annihilated the 
expedition. 

We now take up again Captain Gallieni's narrative 
at the point at which we left it — the arrival of the 
expedition at Bammakou, and the reunion with 
Lieutenant Valliere. The chief of Bammakou received 
the mission hospitably, Valliere having prepared the 
way. The caravan was in a most deplorable con- 
dition, destitute of provisions, of medicines, and of 
presents for the tribes. The men were wounded, sick, 



CAPTAIN OALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 247 

and weary ; arms had been lost and ammunition ex- 
hausted. With very anxious hearts the reunited 
leaders took counsel together, when Captain Gallieni 
proposed to push on the march in the face of every- 
thing. Officers and men alike supported the leader 
in his resolution, and it was determined to continue 
the journey. 

But it had become a pressing need that despatches 
should be sent to St. Louis. Dr. Bayol, whose special 
duties in connection with the expedition might now 
be considered over, offered to make the journey back 
to St. Louis alone, with Sori, the interpreter, as a 
guide. The doctor took with him a full and exact 
written account of the attack upon the mission at 
Dio and all that followed thereupon, which he was to 
deliver into the hands of the governor. He was then 
to send on as rapidly as possible a supply of medicines 
for the caravan, whose stock was now reduced to thirty 
grains of quinine, and the winter season already close 
at hand. 

Captain Gallieni also sent back the ass-drivers, who 
were of no further service, and who simply terrified 
by their uncouth and miserable appearance the tribes 
through which the caravan passed. It was with 
regret that the leader took this step, for the poor 
fellows had shown themselves faithful and even 
devoted in his service. They were liberally recom- 
pensed for their labours and fatigues, and commended 



248 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

to the attention of the governor of St. Louis in a 
letter to be delivered by Dr. Bayol. 

The expedition resumed the march, and on the 15th 
of May reached the village of Joliba — Dr. Bayol 
meanwhile taking the route to Kita, the party of ass- 
drivers in his wake. Pietri and Alassane preceded 
the caravan to the banks of the river in order to make 
preparations for the crossing. An hour's march across 
a wide grassy plain brought the explorers to the banks 
of the great river of Soudan. It was with feelings of 
emotion that Captain Gallieni and his comrades gazed 
upon the mighty water-course. The banks were of 
no great height, but the river rolled between them, its 
immense volume of water and numerous islands dotting 
its surface giving to it a picturesque and imposing 
appearance. The travellers crossed the ford in canoes, 
small, leaky craft, that took in water at all sides. 
The horses and mules, held by the spahis who were 
seated in the canoes, crossed by swimming. 

By five o'clock men and animals were on the other 
side of the Joliba, where the mission was favourably 
received by a party of Toucouleurs, one of whom, a 
man with an intelligent face, advanced towards the 
leader, and having made the customary salaam, spoke 
thus : — 

" The country is yours, and you are at home, since 
you come as ambassadors to the sultan of Segou. 
We know the powerful chief who has sent you, and 



CAPTAIN QALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 249 

my master, who rules over this village in the name of 
Amadou, will be happy to receive you. He sends me 
to you to say, ' Bismillah ! ' You have left your 
native land and encountered many toils ; but now all 
that is over. You are at home. ' Bismillah ! bis- 
millah ! ' " 

These were agreeable words to listen to after the 
brutal reception of the expedition at the hands of the 
Bambarras of Bele'dougou. The mission quickly ar- 
rived at Toniella, and passed through the gates. 
Huts were placed at the service of Captain Gallieni 
and his followers ; chickens, rice, and butter were pro- 
vided for the men, and corn for the horses. The 
hearts of the travel-worn white men were filled with 
pleasurable emotions by this amicable reception. 

The travellers lay down to sleep on their mats in 
peace and security ; but, alas ! all the night their 
slumbers were broken by the barking of dogs, the 
noise of the tom-tom, and the shouting and singing of 
tipsy Bambarras, who were speeding the night with 
deep potations of dolo. 

On the following morning Captain Gallieni took 
advantage of the friendly attitude of his hosts to 
consult with them about the wounded, who were no 
longer able to support the fatigues of the journey. 
The people agreed to receive and tend the sick men, 
who were to rejoin the caravan when they were again 
in a condition to travel. In return for this service 



250 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

the leader left behind him a number of guns to pay 
for the board and care of the wounded. 

The march now led towards the east, under the con- 
duct of a guide. The country traversed was exceed- 
ingly fertile, watered by the Niger and its chief 
affluents. The land produces abundance of maize, 
rice, cotton, tobacco, indigo, and millet, while vast 
forests of butter-trees abound — a magnificent territory 
awaiting European settlement and improved cultiva- 
tion. In addition to its agricultural resources the 
district is, moreover, rich in minerals. 

The village of Cissina was reached. Shortly after 
the arrival of the expedition at this point the white 
men witnessed a Bambarra funeral. First came a 
score of women weeping violently. Next two griots — 
one with a small tom-tom chanted the praises of the 
departed. Then came the corpse, carried by six men 
in a finely-woven net. Last followed the parents and 
friends of the dead man, armed with guns. The 
Bambarras always bury their dead close to their 
villages, the chiefs being interred in their own huts. 
While the earth is being thrown upon the corpse, all 
the friends of the dead man make believe of being 
buried in the tomb with him. 

Tadiana was the next halt, an important Toucou- 
leur fort, with a population partly of Bambarras, partly 
of Sarracolets. On the night of the 17th of May the 
mission reached Diba, where they were met by a party 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 251 

of Bambarras, who examined the strangers closely by 
the light of their torches, touching their hands and 
faces to assure themselves that they were white men. 

On the following day Kobile" was reached — a small 
village of some three hundred inhabitants. Here corn 
was procured for the horses, and the chief himself 
brought a sheep for the strangers, while his brother 
offered a chicken, saying : — 

" I give you this chicken. Were I rich and power- 
ful I should give you a much finer present; but as I am 
neither rich nor powerful, I cannot entertain as you 
deserve — a people so important as you — and I much 
regret the smallness of my gift." 

The white men were provided with a good hut, the 
walls of which were very curious, being covered with 
hieroglyphics, while from the roof were suspended 
amulets, castanets, etc. But the most curious object 
in the collection was a sword, evidently of European 
make, bearing this legend : " Never draw me without 
cause : never sheathe me without honour." The 
weapon bore the appearance of being of very ancient 
manufacture. 

On the 19th the expedition crossed the Faya, an 
important affluent of the Niger, and arrived at Niague, 
a village of some five hundred inhabitants. After 
halting at several intermediate stages the travellers 
reached Sanankoro. Here they rested the best part 
of a day, the leaders passing the time in speculation 



252 CAPTAIN GALLIENI' S EXPEDITION. 

as to how far they might still be from Segou, which 
seemed to get further and further off every day. 
Here Amadou at last gave some sign of his existence, 
for Alpha came to announce that two men from the 
Toucouleur capital had arrived and requested to speak 
with Captain Gallieni. 

They were introduced, and proved to be two Sofas. 
They said that they were come from the sultan to 
inform the white leader that he was to remain where 
they, the envoys, found him ; in whatever village he 
might be, there he was to stay for the meantime. 

Captain Gallieni protested energetically against this, 
saying that two months had been consumed in the 
march ; and was the mission to be detained in a small 
village, deprived of all resources, and the winter rains 
setting in, blotting out the paths and preventing all 
access to the capital ? The two Sofas answered, that 
they were simply transmitting the orders of Lam 
Dioulbe'. Those orders were clear and formulated : 
they, the envoys, were to arrest the mission 
wherever they met it. They knew, moreover, that 
Sanankoro could not supply sufficient food for the 
men and horses of the expedition. The white leaders 
should push on to Niansonnah, a richer village, and 
there await the answer of the sultan. 

Captain Gallieni then told the emissaries that he 
had written a letter in Arabic which he wished to 
send to Amadou by Lieutenant Pietri, accompanied by 



CAPTAIN QALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 253 

the interpreter Alpha Sega. No objection was made 
to this, the men answering that Amadou would send 
some of his chief men to receive the white man's com- 
munications. 

Sanankoro was left on the 24 th, Niamana was 
passed, and the camp pitched at Niansonnah, which 
was found to be a far less prosperous place than the 
two Sofas had reported. It was with great difficulty 
that enough food was obtained to sustain the cara- 
van for four days. On the 29 th Captain Gallieni 
summoned the two Sofas and informed them that as no 
reply had yet come from Amadou, the expedition was 
about to quit the village and resume the journey. 
Seeing that it would be useless to try to detain the 
caravan further, the two men decided to take them- 
selves off, satisfied of the consequences that would 
ensue from this disobedience of the sultan's orders. 

Resuming the march, the expedition reached Dindian, 
and Soi'a, and, after traversing a wide plain, Nango. 
Here the travellers were met by a party of twelve 
horsemen, who escorted them to the village, where 
huts had been provided for the accommodation of the 
leaders. About mid-day Captain Gallieni sought an 
interview with Marico, the chief of the village, who, 
after the customary salaam, spoke thus : — 

" I was at Segou when Amadou was informed of 
your arrival. He at once ordered me to depart in 
order to receive you. I was to make you welcome, 



254 CAPTAIN GALLIENVS EXPEDITION. 

and to provide food for your men and animals. You, 
for your part, were to remain here at Nango, to await 
the answer of the sultan. Lam Dioulbe knows all 
that has happened to you. In regard to the wrong 
you have suffered, it is for him to avenge you. You 
are the ambassadors of a powerful chief, and you shall 
be treated accordingly." 

All this was very fine, but it was not exactly the 
point. Captain Gallieni tried to make Marico compre- 
hend that the mission was at its last extremity, that 
men and animals could do no more, and that after all 
the expedition had suffered, even such short delays as 
this prejudiced the march. Marico replied tranquilly 
that he was but transmitting the orders of Amadou, 
and that he was about to depart for Segou at moon- 
rise, to seek the will of his master. 

Marico accordingly departed, and returned in a day 
or two. He did not give Captain Gallieni much 
satisfaction by the news he brought, for he declared 
that Amadou advised the white man to bear in mind, 
when he felt impatient, that he was travelling through 
a stranger's country, and should therefore submit to 
the wishes of the chief of that country, who would 
presently send two envoys to treat with the white 
man. 

On the 5th June these two ambassadors duly made 
their appearance. They were Samba N'Diaye, the 
chief engineer of the sultan, and Boubakar Saada, a 



CAPTAIN GALLIENI' S EXPEDITION. 255 

notable of Amadou's court. The two ambassadors 
spoke much to the same effect as the Sofa men had 
previously done — promises on the part of Amadou 
mingled with half -threats. Captain Gallieni resolved 
to send back to the sultan, by Samba N'Diaye and 
Boubakar, an exact statement of his position and com- 
plaints. The envoys returned in a day or two, bring- 
ing the same vague words — promises and interdicts 
which always composed Amadou's answers, and against 
which it was useless and even dangerous on the part 
of the white men to do more than remonstrate. 

At last Amadou promised to send one of his chief 
ministers to make a treaty with the mission; and after 
much delay and time wasted, this meeting did at 
length take place. On the 13 th of October, Se'idou 
Dieylia, Amadou's prime minister, arrived at Nango 
with great pomp and a large following. The negotia- 
tions lasted for nearly a week, and after interminable 
discussion Captain Gallieni obtained from Se'idou a deed 
placing the Niger under French protectorate, from its 
source as far as Timbuctoo. On the 3rd November 
the treaty, drawn up in French and Arabic, was signed 
by all the parties concerned, except by Amadou him- 
self. Se'idou was to take the document to Segou for 
the sultan to sign, and promised Captain Gallieni that 
this would be done in the course of a few days. 

The few days lengthened themselves out into weeks 
and then into months, and still the treaty remained 



256 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

unsigned by the sultan. Every possible pretext 
which the wily Mussulman could devise for delay- 
ing to append his sign-manual to the document, with- 
out which it was valueless, was brought forward. 
Those at the court who were wholly unfriendly to the 
mission, alleged that its object was not to conclude a 
commercial and friendly treaty, but to make plans of 
the country, to establish European colonies, and to en- 
list the hostile tribes of Bambarras and Malinkes 
against the sultan. To these advisers Amadou was 
only too ready to listen. 

The mission spent weary months at Nango. One 
after the other the four white men were attacked by 
fever, and lay ill and weak in the midst of a strange 
and hostile country. The food that could be obtained 
was poor and insufficient ; and over and above these 
physical troubles, there was the daily mental anxiety 
and worry, the daily deferred hope that Amadou 
would keep his word and allow the mission to depart. 
The horses died too, and unless Amadou supplied 
their places, how should the travellers be able to 
accomplish their return journey ? 

But at last Amadou, urged by the reiterated demands 
of Captain Gallieni, placed his signature to the treaty 
and told the mission to prepare for departure. With 
indescribable joy the white men began to get every- 
thing ready for the return march — to prepare means 
of transport, to repair clothes for the journey, and 



CAPTAIN GALLIENVS EXPEDITION. 257 

re-equip the caravan as speedily and as well as was 
possible in the circumstances. 

It was not until the 10th of March that Amadou 
returned the treaty signed to Captain Gallieni. A 
few days after, he sent five good horses, three oxen 
for carrying the baggage, and a supply of rice, meal, 
salt, and other provisions ; and besides this, a present 
of gold, and twenty pieces of cloth of Segou work- 
manship. On the arrival of the expedition at St. 
Louis, the gold was distributed among the interpreters 
of the mission. Thus, in a measure, Amadou made 
up for the delay, anxiety, sickness, and general 
wretchedness which he had for many months caused 
the mission to suffer. 

On the 21st March 1881, Nango opened its gates 
to allow the expedition to depart. The poor people 
of the village had done their best to treat the white 
men kindly, and the whole population followed them 
outside the gates, crying, " Bonjour, Toubab! Bonjour, 
Toubab ! " Captain Gallieni and his companions did 
not depart without leaving behind them many little 
souvenirs among the simple village people. 

The return journey led along the Niger, the route 
followed being very much the same as the previous 
one. Kantara, one of Amadou's chief agents, was 
charged with the convoy of the expedition as far as 
Tourella. 

On the 22 nd March the village of Sougoulani 

(94) 17 



258 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

was reached. Here the travellers were the witnesses 
of a dreadful spectacle. Amadou, with the character- 
istic cruelty of the Mussulmans, had ordered a number 
of prisoners of war to be put to death, with the 
object of inspiring terror among the neighbouring 
tribes ; and now Captain Gallieni and his comrades 
beheld the bodies of these victims heaped up in the 
village market-place, the prey of hyenas and birds 
— a veritable human shambles. An entire caravan, 
consisting of sixteen persons, of all ages and both 
sexes, had been captured by Amadou's emissaries and 
pitilessly put to death. As the white men rode past 
this sad and horrible spectacle, they could not but 
reflect on the danger to which they had been exposed 
at Nango, living so long at the mercy of the fickle 
and sombre tyrant of Segou. 

On the 27th the journey proved full of difficulties, 
the passage of the little river Faya alone delaying 
the caravan an hour. The river was fringed with 
beautiful fig-trees, whose branches projected far over 
the water. Some of the men entered the stream to 
help in getting the animals and baggage across. 
Others scrambled across along the stems and branches 
of the trees, some of which extended right across the 
river. The leaders adopted this method of crossing, 
and the party swarming along the boughs from bank 
to bank looked ludicrously like a troop of monkeys. 

On the 28 th Tadiana was reached, and a halt of 



CAPTAIN G ALLIEN VS EXPEDITION. 259 

an hour made. The chief, Daba, confirmed the news, 
which had already reached the leaders of the expedi- 
tion, of the arrival of a French force at Kita. Daba 
spoke of the astonishing effect which this event had 
produced upon the surrounding tribes, the turbulent 
Talibe's being struck dumb with amazement. 

The march was resumed across a plain very much 
cut up by the rains, and the bivouac was made at 
Cissina, in a splendid hut formed of bamboos and 
the stalks of the millet. Here an agreeable day was 
spent by the travellers, who awaited the morrow in 
the pleasant anticipation of reaching the other bank 
of the Niger. The hut was visited by crowds of the 
natives, curious to see the white men, who, they 
believed, had been abandoned to death by the tyrant 
sultan, but whom the latest reports had surrounded 
with fame. 

Tourella was reached on the 29 th March. Here 
Captain Gallieni parted with his remaining stock of 
cowries to the chief, Kantara. Valliere proceeded in 
advance, to announce the arrival of the party at 
Nagadie. Kantara gave the leaders a number of 
particulars in regard to the eventful battle at Dio, 
from which it appeared that the Bambarras had suf- 
fered severely. They had, in a word, reaped the just 
reward of their treachery and ingratitude ; and the 
result of the conflict, severely as the mission itself had 
suffered, had inspired the attackers with a wholesome 



260 CAPTAIN GALLIENI'S EXPEDITION. 

dread of the white men. Towards noon of the same 
day the caravan reached the banks of the river, 
where canoes were in readiness for the passage across. 
The party embarked in the midst of a great crowd of 
negroes, gathered from all the surrounding villages. 
Some natives, who had accompanied the white men 
from Segou, were concealed among Captain Gallieni's 
own followers, with the design of crossing to the 
right bank of the Niger. These endeavoured to 
embark in the canoes ; but the watchful Kantara was 
on the outlook for all such. Among these poor 
people was one old Ouoloff woman who had lost her 
husband in one of the raids of Amadou, and who 
now wished to rejoin her husband. The white men 
interceded in her case, but Kantara was inflexible. 
It was as much as his life was worth to listen to her 
entreaties, and it was in vain that the poor old 
creature rent the air with her cries, offering to serve 
as a slave to the white men if she might only go with 
them. 

In the space of two hours the whole caravan were 
on the opposite bank of the Niger. It was a curious 
sio-ht to see the men, both Toucouleurs and Bambarras, 
uniting to take a firm resolution that this was the 
last time they should ever accept hospitality from 
Amadou. Previously these poor people had had a 
great belief and confidence in the generosity, the 
magnificence, and the omnipotence of the son of El 



CAPTAIN G ALLIEN VS EXPEDITION. 261 

Hadj. But their six months' sojourn at Nango, with 
its unceasing anxieties of every sort, had quite dis- 
illusioned them on this score, and proved to them 
beyond all doubt how wretched the life of Amadou's 
subjects was compared with that of the tribes along 
the Senegal placed under the French protectorate. 

The march was resumed in the direction of Nafadie, 
across an extensive grassy plain. As the caravan 
approached the village of Joliba, a crowd of people 
was perceived in the distance gathered under some 
bread-fruit trees. Captain Gallieni's anxiety was 
raised to behold Lieutenant Valliere stretched motion- 
less on the ground at the foot of a tree, with two or 
three natives beside him endeavouring by means of 
vigorous friction to revive him. In a few minutes 
more, Gallieni, Pietri, and Tautain were at the side of 
their comrade, who presently opened his eyes. The 
doctor then examined him, and, to the great relief of 
all, discovered that he was not hurt in any way. 

Valliere thus narrated the cause of his present 
situation : — After quitting Joliba in the morning, he 
was deserted by his guides, and left to his own 
resources. He chose a path which, as he thought, led 
to Nafadie', but which in reality led to the mountains. 
After many turnings and detours, he at length came 
upon a village situated in a narrow and rugged gorge. 
It appeared that that same morning a party of 
Toucouleur horsemen had made a raid upon this 



262 CAPTAIN GALLIENVS EXPEDITION. 

village, and carried off a number of young girls who 
were watching the flocks. The inhabitants mistook 
Valliere and his companions for a part of these rob- 
bers, and forthwith attacked him. Some of the tirail- 
leurs who accompanied him were made prisoners, and 
one was seriously wounded. Valliere himself escaped 
the bullets of his pursuers, which whistled about his 
ears, and reached Joliba again half dead with hunger 
and fatigue. Before the day ended, however, the 
lieutenant had recovered, and was able to resume the 
journey. 

The people of Nafadie* gave the mission a hospi- 
table reception, providing mutton, rice, and couscous in 
abundance. Gallieni took advantage of the friendly 
attitude of the inhabitants to demonstrate to them 
the pacific intentions of the whites, and how necessary 
it was that the chiefs of Nafadie should unite against 
Amadou, whose troopers were constantly carrying off 
their women and harrying their flocks. The reply 
of the chiefs was unanimous. They were perfectly 
willing to place themselves under the French pro- 
tectorate, and to break through the intolerable domi- 
nation of the Toucouleurs. Captain Gallieni then 
unfolded to them the plan of the treaty, and the 
notables of the village forthwith affixed their signa- 
tures to the document. 

On the 30th of March, the caravan took the road 
for Tabou, halting at Kamalia, Sibi, and Nienkema, 



CAPTAIN G ALLIEN VS EXPEDITION. 263 

in order that the signatures of the chiefs of these 
villages might be obtained to the treaty. Captain 
Gallieni's task was now a light one, Amadou being 
cordially detested throughout all this region. The 
tribes appeared perfectly satisfied to see the whites 
established at Makadiambougou. A day was spent at 
Tabou, where the inhabitants, notwithstanding their 
simple savagedom, offered the mission every hos- 
pitality, providing corn, water, wood, etc. This vil- 
lage absolutely hangs, as it were, on the flank of the 
mountain, guarded by huge blocks of stone, a natural 
protection against the raids of Toucouleur troopers. 

On the 31st, Narena was reached, a large Malinke 
village, whose chief received the white men court- 
eously, though he had treated Valliere in a consider- 
ably more rough and ready fashion some months 
previously. An ox was presented to the leaders, and 
the people disputed among themselves as to who 
should entertain the men of the expedition. The 
treaty was signed with enthusiasm, and Captain Gal- 
lieni now felt sure that Sultan Amadou might regard 
as lost all the provinces in the valley of the Bakhoy. 

At Narena, Captain Gallieni received precise news 
as to what had been occurring at Kita. Two mes- 
sengers arrived from Lieutenant - Colonel Borgnis- 
Desbordes, whose anxiety had been great on account 
of the mission, the arrival of which he waited for 
with eagerness. 



264 CAPTAIN GALLIENI' S EXPEDITION. 

Nardna was quitted next day, and a short halt 
made at Koremakhava, whose chief joined the alliance. 
Niagassola was reached on April 2nd, whence Captain 
Gallieni despatched a letter to Kita to announce his 
arrival. A parley was held with the chief of the 
ancient village of Bangassi, which the expedition had 
found deserted and in ruins a year before, and whose 
inhabitants were for the most part refugees from 
Niagassola and the neighbourhood. Captain Gallieni 
spoke of the era of peace and prosperity which 
awaited all the tribes of this region upon the settle- 
ment of the whites at Kita, and engaged to repeople 
the village of Bangassi. 

After leaving Niagassola, Captain Gallieni presented 
the treaty for signature to the chief, Mambi, who 
showed himself very anxious that his village should 
be chosen as the site of the French colony that was 
to be established between Kita and the Niger. 

The 3rd of April was passed at the little village of 
Koukouroni, whose chief, a handsome old man of 
somewhat sad bearing, apologized for not being able 
to welcome the mission in a more hospitable fashion. 
The Toucouleurs had robbed him of everything. The 
white leader endeavoured to reassure and console the 
old chief, and presented him with a small sum of 
money. 

On the following day the caravan rested at Mour- 
goula, where the white men were received with much 



CAPTAIN G ALLIEN J' S EXPEDITION. 265 

ceremony. Towards mid-day Captain Gallieni received 
a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Borgnis-Desbordes, 
which conveyed a gracious welcome, and expressed 
with what impatience the arrival of the mission at 
Kita was looked forward to. Mourgoula was quitted 
in the evening, and the night passed at Sitakoto. At 
Goubanko the travellers were received by MM. de 
Gasquet and Morlot, whom the governor of the colony 
had sent to meet them. 

A great change had passed over the country since 
the setting out of the expedition a year back. The 
French flag now floated on the fort that had been 
raised near Makadiambougou, and the French influence 
extended over a wide area of the Niger basin. 

The envoy of the Sultan Amadou was unable to 
conceal his surprise at finding the white men so firmly 
established within so short a distance of Mourgoula, 
one of his own possessions. 

On the 16th of April the expedition arrived at the 
confluence of the Bafing and the Bakhoy, where, on 
the right bank of the former river, a military post was 
established. 

On the 23 rd, Bakel was reached. Here boats 
were procured to transport the members of the expe- 
dition as far as Podor. On the 27th the mission 
found itself in an enemy's country. The river-side 
natives showed themselves exceedingly hostile, at- 
tempting to arrest the passage of the boats down the 



266 CAPTAIN GALLIENI 'S EXPEDITION. 

river. The leaders of the expedition were obliged to 
have recourse to their fire-arms before their assailants 
were driven back. 

On the 6th of May, Salde* was reached, and the 
expedition was now well beyond hostile ground. A 
steamboat, the Archimedes, took on board Captain 
Gallieni and his companions, who reached St. Louis 
on the 12th May, and were welcomed by their friends 
there with many warm congratulations on their safe 
return. 

The geographical results of Captain Gallieni's voy- 
age were important, and the leader received, in recog- 
nition of his services, the medal of the Geographical 
Society of Paris, the gold medal of the Society of 
Bordeaux, and a diploma of honour from the French 
Geographical Congress of 1882. 



CHAPTER VII. 

DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 

In the year 1849 the British Government resolved to 
despatch an expedition to Central Africa, partly to 
explore the country, and partly to establish friendly 
relations with the chiefs and rulers of the various 
territories in the far interior. The command of the 
expedition was intrusted to Mr. Richardson, who had 
already distinguished himself in African travel. He 
was joined by Dr. Barth and Dr. Overweg, two German 
gentlemen who volunteered their services, on the Gov- 
ernment expressing a wish that two foreigners should 
accompany the party. Dr. Barth was a professor in 
Germany who had attracted the notice of Lord Palmer- 
ston by his success in exploring the northern shores 
of Africa ; while Dr. Overweg was a brave and ener- 
getic young fellow, thirty years of age. 

The travellers started from Tripoli on the 29th 
March 1850. The journey was one of special interest, 
and there was a large gathering of friends to bid Mr. 
Richardson and his companions "God speed." Although 



268 DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 

the discoveries of previous travellers had shorn the 
adventure of much of its danger and mystery, sufficient 
peril remained to make parting friends feel that they 
might be looking on one another's faces for the last 
time. Such forebodings were sadly fulfilled, for before 
the small company reached Kukawa, its leader, Mr. 
Richardson, fell ill and died. Dr. Barth, who was 
appointed to the command, and Dr. Overweg then 
separated for a time, exploring in different directions. 
When Barth returned to Kukawa, he found his friend 
ill and exhausted. Within a week, Overweg too was 
gone, and Barth was left to explore alone the almost 
unknown regions of West Central Africa — to pene- 
trate, if possible, the country as far as Timbuctoo, enter 
into treaty with the Sultan of Sokoto, and procure 
admission for European trade to this part of the Dark 
Continent. Some idea of the measure of success which 
he achieved may be gathered from the brief analysis 
of Barth's large volumes contained in the following 
pages. 

On the death of his fellow-traveller, Mr. Overweg, 
Dr. Barth gave up his original plan of again trying 
his fortune in Kanem and on the north-east shores of 
the Tchad, and resolved to turn westwards and explore 
the countries on the middle course of the great river 
of the west, the I'sa or so-called Niger. He fixed upon 
Say, a town on the Niger somewhat south-east of 
Timbuctoo, as his first halting-place ; but the main 



DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 269 

object of the expedition was to reach the town of 
Timbuctoo itself, a place attractive from the mystery 
by which it was surrounded. 

It was on the 26th of November 1852 that Dr. 
Barth set out from Kukawa, which had been his head- 
quarters for more than twenty months. His little com- 
pany consisted of an Arab sherif from Fez, who was 
going as far as Zinder, an interpreter from Jalo, five 
Mussulman freemen, and two liberated slaves, Dyrregu, 
a Houssa boy, and Abbega, a Marghi lad. Of Abbega 
Dr. Barth remarks : " He not unfrequently found some 
other object more interesting than my camels, which 
were intrusted to his care, and which in consequence 
he lost repeatedly." 

The travellers had set out in the cool season of the 
African year, when, even in tropical Africa, in parts 
remote from the sea, that great equalizer of tempera- 
ture, the nights are often positively cold. So to the 
delight of the travellers in once more finding them- 
selves in the open country was added the enjoyment 
of a pleasant change of temperature, and also of scenery, 
as they exchanged the bleak and dreary hollows that 
lie between Kano and Kukawa for rich fields waving 
with corn and fine crops of marakuwa and stubble- 
fields of small millet. These pleasant changes, and 
the prospect of further novelty in the unknown regions 
of the far west, kept the travellers in the best of 
spirits. 



270 DR. BABTH'S TRAVELS. 

By the 1st of December, Dr. Barth reached the 
Komadugu, the river-valley of Bornou. Eecent rains 
had made the passage of this swampy network of 
channels and thick forests a most difficult task ; but 
the travellers were encouraged by the sight of fine 
groups of trees and droves of guinea-fowl which now 
varied the scene. After visiting the site of Ghasr- 
eggomo, the old capital of Bornou, the travellers had 
to make a roundabout journey to reach the village of 
Ze'ngiri, where the river could be most easily forded. 
Having crossed the river, they entered the province 
of Manga, where some of the thievish natives robbed 
the Arab merchant in the most daring manner of his 
woollen blanket, dragging the poor fellow along in it 
until they forced him to let go. Passing through 
the walled town of Gesma, and places with such 
pleasant names as the " Queen of the Kegion of the 
Dum Palm," and the " Sweetness of the World," they 
soon found themselves in the hilly district of Muniyo. 
There they were joined by parties of native traders, 
bearing their wares on their heads, as the British pedlar 
carries his on his back. The wooded hills, the many 
salt and fresh water lakes, the towns and villages, 
and cultivated land and pleasant pastures, with their 
herds of camels, horses, goats, sheep, and cattle, made 
the passage through Muniyo a very pleasant part of 
the journey. At one of the towns where they stopped 
to water the animals the wells were ten fathoms 



DR. BARTH' S TRAVELS. 271 

deep ; and crowds of boys and girls were busy draw- 
ing water from two other larger wells on the north 
side of the place. The path was also frequented by 
numbers of people who were carrying the harvest into 
the town in nets made from the leaves of the dum 
palm, and borne on the backs of oxen. 

While passing through Muniyo, Dr. Barth, with two 
of his companions, visited a natron lake situated at the 
foot of a hill near a village called Magajiri. Dr. Barth 
writes : " When we had passed this village, which was 
full of natron (carbonate of soda), stored up partly in 
large piles into ' takrufa ' or matting coverings, we ob- 
tained a view of the natron lake lying before us in the 
hollow at the foot of the rocky eminence, with its snow- 
white surface girt all round by a green border of luxu- 
riant vegetation. This border of vegetation was formed 
by well-kept cotton grounds, which were just in flower, 
and by kitchen gardens, where deraba was grown, the 
cultivated ground being broken by dum bush and 
rank grass. Crossing this verdant and fertile strip, 
we reached the real natron lake, where we hesitated 
some time whether or not we should venture upon its 
surface ; for the crust of natron was scarcely an inch 
thick, the whole of the ground underneath consisting 
of black boggy soil, from which the substance separates 
continually afresh." At the end of the rainy season the 
natron is obtained in larger pieces than at other times. 
"A large provision of natron, consisting of from twenty 



272 DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 

to twenty-five piles about ten yards in diameter and 
four in height, protected by a layer of reeds, was stored 
up at the northern end of the lake. The whole cir- 
cumference of the basin was one mile and a half." 

On Christmas day 1852, the travellers reached 
Zinder, a busy trading mart (Dr. Barth calls it " the 
gate of Soudan "), where they were to wait for new 
supplies. When these arrived, on the 20th of January, 
part of them was used to purchase from the natives 
such wares as red bernouses, turbans, looking-glasses, 
razors, chaplets, and gloves. Further on, at Katsena, 
other purchases were made of cotton and silk goods 
made at Kano (the " Manchester of Africa ") and Ntipe, 
also of leather water-skins for covering luggage; "for," 
says Dr. Barth, " no place in the whole of Negroland is 
so famous for excellent leather and the art of tanning 
as Katsena : and if I had taken a larger supply of 
these articles with me, it would have been very pro- 
fitable ; but of course these leather articles require a 
great deal of room." Among other purchases were 
two hundred and thirty-two black shawls for covering 
the face (these are the best presents for the Tawarek), 
seventy -five turkedis, and some of the tobacco of 
Katsena, which is held in great estimation even in 
Timbuctoo. So provided, Dr. Barth knew he could 
pass safely through the countries on the middle course 
of the Niger, for these native manufactures are there 
everywhere a ready passport. 



DR. BAETH'S TRAVELS. 273 

Leaving K&tsena, the travellers had to make a wide 
circuit on account of a hostile army known to be on 
the road. By keeping a good look-out, however, by 
marching at night, and sometimes by showing a bold 
front, or diving into the forests, they arrived, some- 
what alarmed but uninjured, at Sokoto, the capital of 
the Fulbe or Fellani, the most intelligent of all the 
African tribes. Though a small town, Sokoto can 
boast some five thousand inhabitants. It is a place 
of resort for numbers of the gray species of monkey. 
While there, Dr. Barth visited the house in which 
the traveller Clapperton died, and obtained some in- 
teresting information about the unfortunate captain's 
death. The market at Sokoto is thus described : — 

" Even in the present reduced condition of the place, 
the market still presented a very interesting sight, the 
numerous groups of people, buyers as well as sellers, 
and the animals of various descriptions, being pictur- 
esquely scattered over the rocky slope. The market 
was tolerably well attended and well supplied, there 
being about thirty horses, three hundred head of cattle 
for slaughter, fifty oxen of burden, and a great quantity 
of leather articles, especially leather bags, cushions, 
and similar articles, the leather dressed and prepared 
here being very soft and beautiful. A good many 
slaves were exhibited, and fetched a higher price than 
might be supposed — a lad of very indifferent appear- 
ance being sold for thirty-three thousand shells. I 

(94) 18 



274 DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 

myself bought a pony for thirty thousand shells. It 
being just about the time when the salt caravan visits 
these parts, dates also, which usually form a small 
addition to the principal merchandise of those traders 
of the desert, were to be had ; and I filled a leather 
bag for some two thousand shells, in order to give a 
little more variety to my food on the long road which 
lay before me." 

Much rice is grown near Sokoto, one whole valley 
forming an uninterrupted rice-field. 

From Sokoto, the way of our travellers led to almost 
unknown regions, hitherto untrodden by European 
foot. As usual, the road lay through densely-peopled 
districts, where yams and corn-fields flourished. On 
some occasions Dr. Barth seems to have found the 
presents with which he had provided himself extremely 
useful. Such was the case with the sultan Aliyu, 
whom Dr. Barth visited to compliment the chief on 
his return from subduing some wretched little hamlets. 
" Although," he says, " I had made the chief a very 
respectable present on my first arrival, I thought it 
well to give greater impulse to his friendly disposition 
towards me by adding something also this time, pre- 
senting him with a cloth waistcoat and several smaller 
articles, besides a musical box, with the performance 
of which he was extremely pleased. But unfortunately 
when, anxious to impart his delight to his greatest 
friend and principal minister, he had called the latter 



DB. BABTH'S TBAVELS. 277 

to witness this wonder, the mysterious box, affected 
by the change of climate and the jolting of the long 
journey, was silent for a moment, and would not play. 
I may observe here that I think it better for travellers 
not to make such presents as musical boxes, which so 
easily get out of order. 

" Having made a present to the ghaladima also, I 
thought it better, in order to make up for the deficiency 
of the musical box, to satisfy the musical taste of the 
sultan by making him a present of one of the harmonica 
which the Chevalier Bunsen (in consideration of the 
great effect which a missionary had produced with the 
aid of such an instrument on the inhabitants of the 
shores of the Nile) had procured for me ; but I suc- 
ceeded afterwards in repairing, in some measure, the 
musical box, which caused the good-natured chief in- 
expressible delight, so that he lost no time in writing 
for me a commendatory letter to his nephew, Khalilu, 
the chief of Gandu." 

Passing through country which became more and 
more unsafe, Dr. Barth arrived at Gandu on the 17th 
of May. The Fulbe prince, Khalilu, was well known 
for his intense dislike to Europeans and all Christians. 
An Arab who had gained influence at the sultan's 
court, however, managed a peaceful arrangement be- 
tween the traveller and the chieftain, and no doubt 
the letter from the gratified owner of the musical box 
was not without effect ; but it was only after some 



278 DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 

trouble and delay, and the sacrifice of many of his 
stores, that Dr. Barth was allowed, on the 4 th of 
June, to proceed on his journey, which now promised 
to become of overwhelming interest as they neared 
the great African river, the object of their ambition. 

The interest grew daily greater, though, owing to 
the heavy rains of that time of the year, their progress 
was but slow, and, owing to the unsafe state of the 
country, somewhat dangerous. One town had just 
been destroyed by the enemy, and all the inhabitants 
carried into slavery. " The aspect of the place was 
doleful and melancholy in the extreme, corresponding- 
well with the dangerous situation in which we found 
ourselves ; and whilst traversing the half -ruined vil- 
lage, which from a bustling little place had become 
the abode of death, I almost involuntarily snatched 
my gun and held it steadily in my hand. But life 
and death in these regions are closely allied ; and we 
had scarcely left the ruined village behind us, when 
we were greeted by a most luxuriant rice-field, where 
the crops were already almost three feet high, and 
girt by the finest border of a nice variety of shady 
trees, overtopped by a number of tall deleb palms, the 
golden fruit of which, half ripe, was starting forth 
from under the feathery foliage. But our attention 
was soon diverted from the enjoyment of this scenery 
to a point of greater interest to ourselves. We here 
observed a solitary individual, in spite of the unsafe 



DR. BABTH'S TRAVELS. 279 

state of the country, sitting quietly at the foot of one 
of the palm trees, and seemingly enjoying its fruit. 
Now, coupling the present state of the country with 
the news we had just received, we could not help 
greatly suspecting this man to be a spy, posted here 
by the enemy in order to give them information of 
the passers-by ; and I had the greatest difficulty in 
preventing my Arab, who, when there was no dan- 
ger for himself, always mustered a great amount 
of courage, from shooting this suspicious - looking 
character." 

Proceeding further through this rich but unsafe 
district, the travellers, to their great delight, met a 
solitary and courageous pilgrim — a Jolof, from the 
shores of the Atlantic — carrying his little luggage on 
his head, and seemingly well prepared to defend it 
with his double-barrelled gun which he carried on his 
shoulder, and a short sword hanging at his side, while 
his shirt was tossed gallantly up and tied over his 
shoulder behind the neck. " In my joy at the sight 
of this enterprising native traveller," says Dr. Barth, 
" I could not forbear making him a small present, in 
order to assist him in his arduous undertaking." 

At the strong walled town of Kola, which com- 
mands the whole passage of the great valley of Kebbi, 
the company made a short halt to insure peace with 
the powerful governor of the place, who was said to 
command as many as seventy musketeers. Having 



280 DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 

made him a small present, they were hospitably re- 
ceived both by the governor and his sister, the latter 
showing her favour by the gift of a goose — a most 
welcome present to a European somewhat tired of the 
usual African fare. 

At the border of the valley were some fine pasture 
grounds, where some horses were grazing ; but the 
herbage was full of small venomous snakes, which 
repeatedly crossed the path of the travellers in large 
numbers. 

But soon they left the cultivated grounds and 
entered a dense forest, which had a very pleasant 
appearance, all the trees being in blossom, and spread- 
ing a delightful fragrance around. There, too, they 
were agreeably surprised to come upon two extensive 
ponds, which supplied them with delicious water 
(though on their return journey, in August 1854, 
they were equally but disagreeably surprised to find 
the water of these same ponds had so changed as to 
almost poison the whole company). The travellers 
pitched their tent in the midst of the forest, Dr. 
Barth greatly enjoying the open encampment again, 
after the dirty huts in which he had lately been 
obliged to live. However, they had to enjoy this 
wild encampment longer than they wished, as one of 
the camels was lost in the desert, and must be found 
before they could proceed. This experience gained 
for Dr. Barth the fame among the people of the 



DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 281 

neighbourhood of being the only man who had spent 
a day in the unsafe wilderness. 

Pushing on up the fertile though wretched valley 
of the Fogha, with its numerous salt-lakes, its fields 
of yams and tobacco, and herds of elephants, through 
dense forests and fields where fresh crops were just 
shooting up, through swampy ground covered with 
rank grass, Dr. Barth and his companions reached 
Songhay, a farming village, full of corn-stacks, and 
inhabited by serfs. All the huts in these Songhay 
villages consist merely of reeds ; and while they are 
less solid than the clay dwellings of the Kebbi, they 
are better ventilated and have a less offensive smell. 
Here they found a jovial old farmer, who not only 
supplied the travellers with milk and corn, but even 
made Dr. Barth the present of a sheep. 

A period of great drought now set in, and owing 
to the heat and the weak condition of his camels, Dr. 
Barth had to be content with short marches through 
parched and uncultivated ground, then for a short 
distance through country partly laid out in fields, 
partly covered with underwood, until at length they 
reached a village where they could quarter, though 
not until they had used force to obtain a hut for 
their use — the head man of the village being too lazy, 
or too obstinate, to leave his cool shed in the heat of 
the day. 

"We were now," Dr. Barth writes, "close to the 



282 DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 

Niger ; and I was justified in indulging in the hope 
that I might the next day behold with my own eyes 
that great river of Western Africa, which has caused 
such intense curiosity in Europe, and the upper part of 
the large eastern branch of which I had myself dis- 
covered." 

These expectations were soon fulfilled, for next day, 
Monday, June 20th (our Queen's accession day), Dr. 
Barth sighted the Niger. 

" Next morning," he writes, " at an early hour, I 
set out ; and after a march of a little less than two 
hours, through a roeky wilderness covered with dense 
bushes, I obtained the first sight of the river ; and in 
less than an hour more, during which I was in con- 
stant sight of this noble spectacle, I reached the place 
of embarkation opposite the town of Say. 

" In a noble, unbroken stream, though here, where 
it has become contracted, only about seven hundred 
yards broad, hemmed in on this side by a rocky bank 
of from twenty to thirty feet in elevation, the great 
river of Western Africa (whose name under all its 
many forms means nothing but ' the river,' and 
which therefore may well continue to be called the 
Niger) was gliding along in a north-easterly and 
south-westerly direction, with a moderate current of 
about three miles an hour. On the flatter shore 
opposite, a large town was spreading out, the low 
ramparts and huts of which were picturesquely over- 



DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 285 

topped by numbers of slender dum palms. This was 
the river-town or ' ford/ — the name Say meaning, in 
this eastern dialect, 'the river.' The banks at pres- 
ent were not high ; but the river, as it rises, ap- 
proaches the very border of the rocky slope." 

While waiting for the boats which were to carry 
them across the river, the travellers had plenty of 
leisure for observing the river scenery, and the pas- 
sengers crossing in the smaller boats, Fulbe and 
Songhay natives, with asses and pack-oxen. At 
length the boats, or rather canoes, which were to 
carry Dr. Barth's company and their effects across, 
made their appearance. " They were of good size, 
about forty feet in length, and from four to five feet 
in width in the middle, consisting of two trunks of 
trees hollowed out and sewn together in the middle. 
These boats are chiefly used for carrying corn from 
Sinder, a town higher up the river, to Say ; and they 
had been expressly sent for by the ' king of the 
waters,' as the inspector of the harbour is called. 
The largest of them was able to carry three of my 
camels ; and the water was kept out much better 
than I had ever yet found to be the case with the 
native craft of the inhabitants of Negroland. 

" My camels, horses, people, and luggage having 
crossed over without accident, I myself followed 
about one o'clock in the afternoon, filled with delight 
when floating on the waters of this celebrated stream, 



286 DR. BARTH' S TRAVELS. 

the exploration of which had cost the sacrifice of so 
many noble lives." 

To Dr. Barth the sight of the river was of the 
more importance, because he was so soon again to 
leave it and proceed by land to Timbuctoo — that 
being the only route so far as he then knew ; and he 
had only a faint hope of revisiting the river between 
Timbuctoo and Say. In doubt of ever being able 
to reach the western coast, our traveller thought it 
more interesting to survey the course of the Niger 
between the point already explored by Mungo Park 
and the lower portion known through the accounts 
of the Landers, than to cross the whole of Central 
Africa. 

Having presented himself at the governor's house, 
Dr. Barth soon obtained quarters, though they were 
not at all to his taste, being small and narrow. The 
town, in its very low position, is not refreshed by a 
single current of air, and has a very oppressive atmos- 
phere. The huts, too, seemed made rather for women 
than for men, the women's apartment occupying the 
greater part of each. The bedstead, made of the 
branches of trees, was enclosed in a separate chamber 
of mats, thus leaving only a very small entrance, and 
blocking up the inside of the dwelling. Dr. Barth's 
first task was to demolish one of these small matting 
bed-rooms in order to obtain some ventilation. At 
length, having made himself somewhat comfortable, 



DR. BABTH'S TBAVELS. 287 

he began to long for some refreshment, having been 
exposed to the sun during the hottest part of the day. 
The governor, however, sent only stores of rice and 
millet, which had to be husked and cooked before the 
travellers could satisfy their hunger. The town was 
suffering from want of rain, and the air of the valley, 
always oppressive, became almost suffocating. 

Next morning Dr. Barth rode round the town of 
Say, which he describes as of quadrangular shape, 
with a low rampart of earth on three of its sides, the 
fourth, looking towards the river, being unprotected. 
Though pretty large, the town is but thinly inhabited, 
the dwellings, all except the governor's, consisting of 
matting and reeds, lying scattered about like so many 
separate hamlets. It is divided by a wide valley 
running from north to south, surrounded by dum 
palms, which are almost the only trees either inside or 
outside the town. At the end of the rainy season 
this valley becomes filled with water, stopping the 
business and adding to the unhealthiness of the town. 
" There can be no doubt," Dr. Barth thinks, " that in 
seasons when the river reaches an unusual height the 
whole town is under water, the inhabitants being 
obliged to seek safety beyond the borders of the 
valley." 

In the eastern part of the town, not far from the 
river, a market is held every day, which, poor as it is, 
is of some importance ; and hence the town has a 



288 DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 

great name as a market-place among the inhabitants 
of Western Soudan, many of whom here supply their 
want of native manufactures, especially of common 
clothing for both men and women, as the art of 
weaving and dyeing is there greatly neglected, and 
very little cotton is grown. But the place was most 
miserably supplied with provisions, there being no 
store of grain whatever. Everything necessary was 
brought day by day from the town called Sinder, 
about eighty miles higher up the river. To Dr. 
Barth's great surprise, not a grain of rice is grown 
here, though the soil, being often under water, is par- 
ticularly suited for rice-growing. Everything at Say 
was very dear, especially butter, which was scarcely 
to be procured at all. The money used in the market 
consisted of shells. The high prices depended on the 
state of feeling between Say and Hausa, and it so 
chanced that at the time of Dr. Barth's visit that was 
not of the most peaceful kind. 

" For the English, or Europeans in general, Say is," 
writes Dr. Barth, "the most important place in all 
this tract of the river, if only they succeed in crossing 
the rapids above Rabba, and especially between Busa 
and Yauri, and reach this fine open sheet of water, 
the great highroad of Western Central Africa." 

Being now about to enter a new country, where 
the natives spoke a language which none of the com- 
pany understood, and not being able to give much 



DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 289 

time to its study, Dr. Barth was very anxious to 
obtain the services of a native of the country, or to 
liberate a Songhay slave ; but he did not succeed at 
the time, and so did not feel so much at home in the 
countries through which he now had to pass. 

As he left the great river behind, Dr. Barth's 
thoughts turned with intense interest to the new and 
unexplored region before him. However, on the very 
first day of their march (June 24th) the travellers 
had a sufficient specimen of what awaited them 
during the rainy season. They had scarcely left the 
low island behind on which the town of Say, that 
hot-bed of fever, is situated, and ascended the steep 
rocky bank which borders the west side of the river, 
when a dark array of thunder-clouds came, as it were, 
marching on them from the south-east, and a terrible 
thunderstorm suddenly broke out, beginning with a 
most fearful sand- wind, which wrapped the whole 
district in the darkness of night, and made progress 
for a moment quite impossible. After a while it was 
followed by a violent rain, which relieved the sand- 
storm, but lasted for nearly three hours, filling the 
path with water to the depth of several inches, and 
soaking the unfortunate explorers through to the skin, 
making the rest of their march very uncomfortable. 
They at last found shelter in a farming hamlet, where 
the people were busily employed in sowing, the 
plentiful rain, which was the first of the season, having 

(94) 19 



290 DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 

rendered the fields fit for cultivation. The proprietor, 
a cheerful and wealthy old man, lodged the company 
comfortably in two round huts near a sheep-pen in front 
of his dwelling. While his people were drying them- 
selves and their luggage, Dr. Barth roved about a little, 
watching the women washing their clothes in pools of 
stagnant water and the slaves busy working in the 
fields. 

Their way at first lay through hilly country, some- 
times varied by pleasant vales or glens, though in 
general they were treeless and thinly inhabited. After 
a short march they reached the highest point, from 
which they could view an extensive wilderness, with 
only a few cultivated spots hidden in the forest. 
Passing through some picturesque but not very fertile 
regions, they arrived at the town of Champagore, a 
town enclosed by hills, and remarkable for its maga- 
zines of corn, which consist of towers or square build- 
ings, raised a few feet above the ground, in order to 
protect them from the ants. They have no opening 
at the bottom, but only a kind of window near the 
top, through which the corn is taken in and out ; and 
on the whole they are not unlike the dove-cots of 
Egypt. These magazines, one or two of which are to 
be seen in every courtyard, far surpass in their ap- 
pearance the dwellings themselves, which are nearly 
all low huts, enclosed by a frail fence made of the 
stalks of the native corn. 



DR. BARTH 'S TRAVELS. 291 

Before leaving this place Dr. Barth visited the 
chief. The portal of the residence was very stately ; 
but the spacious courtyard inside, which was enclosed 
by a low clay wall, full of rubbish, and poor, mean- 
looking huts, did not correspond with the stately 
entrance. However, the dwelling itself, although 
simple, was not mean, and, besides two spacious clay 
halls, included some very airy and cool corridors built 
entirely of wood. Having been first received in one 
of the clay halls by the chief, a very pleasant-looking 
man of middle height, about seventy years of age, in 
a simple light-blue tobe, with a white shawl wound 
round his face, Dr. Barth was conducted afterwards to 
one of the corridors for a more private audience, and 
there delivered his present — a red cap, half a piece of 
muslin, and other smaller articles. 

This old chief, Galaijo, had received a large though 
not very fertile district from the chief of Gandu ; and 
so the travellers found here a small court and a people 
bearing no resemblance whatever to those around 
them, having faithfully preserved the manners and 
institutions of their native country. While all the 
neighbouring natives are rather a slender race of men, 
with fine, sharply-cut features, who make it a rule to 
dress in white colours, here were found people quite 
the reverse — a set of sturdy men, with round open 
countenances, and long black curly hair, all clad alike 
in light-blue tobes, and nearly all armed with muskets. 



292 DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 

Three of Galaijo's servants, all armed with muskets, 
attached themselves to the company of travellers ; and 
in case of any attack on the road, were supplied with 
ball cartridges, for the way now lay through an un- 
safe wilderness. A few miles from their starting- 
point they passed some strange smelting-furnaces, 
about six feet high, and measuring a foot and a half 
across the base. The native smelting is a very simple 
process. On the ironstone is placed a large quantity 
of wood-ashes. When the metal begins to melt, it 
is received, by three channels at the bottom of the 
furnace, into a little trough or basin. Soon after this 
they came upon numerous footprints of the elephant, 
and traces of the rhinoceros. Monkey-bread trees 
were here seen in great abundance. 

One day their progress was stopped by the sudden 
bend of a river, about seventy yards wide, which they 
were to cross merely on bundles of reeds that they 
were themselves to tie together. At length, after 
much bargaining, some natives agreed to assist the 
travellers in crossing. While the large bundles of the 
frail ferry were being tied together, the head man of 
the village and many of the natives watched the 
operation from the high banks. The men formed 
interesting groups, with their short shirts and wide 
trowsers of light blue, and their short pipes in their 
mouths, for they smoked incessantly. Their features, 
though effeminate, were full of expression, their hair 



DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 293 

plaited in long tresses and hanging over their cheeks, 
sometimes even to their shoulders. The women were 
short of stature and unshapely, and had their necks 
and ears richly ornamented with strings of beads, but 
none of them wore the nose-ring. The men were 
clever swimmers, and carried the small luggage across 
the river in calabashes ; but it took two hours to con- 
vey the whole party and their luggage safely to the 
other side. 

Continuing their march through the forest, they 
found numerous footprints of the elephant and the 
buffalo, and ere long fell in with a large herd of the 
latter cropping the luxuriant grass of the pasture 
grounds. In the province of Yagha, through which 
they were now passing, they found the natives busily 
occupied, some in weaving on sticks hung from the 
roof, others in basket-making and leather-work. At 
one of these huts Dr. Barth put up for a night, and 
writes of it thus : — 

" The clay being excellently polished, and the hut 
of recent construction, left a very pleasant impression; 
but, as is often the case in human life, all this finery 
covered nothing but misery, and I discovered the next 
day, to my utter amazement, that this beautiful hut 
was one entire nest of ants, which had in one day 
made great havoc with the whole of my luggage." 

As he passed on, more serious dangers threatened 
our brave explorer, from the hatred of the natives 



294 DR. BARTH 'S TRAVELS. 

against all Christians, or, as they called them, infidels, 
and their suspicions of Dr. Barth. On one occasion, 
indeed, he only narrowly escaped death by adopting 
the advice of an Arab, and representing himself as an 
officer carrying books to the sheik. The plan suc- 
ceeded ; for the large company of furious half -naked 
men, brandishing their weapons over their heads in a 
most threatening manner, "all of a sudden dropped 
their spears and thronged round me," Dr. Barth says, 
"requesting me to give them my blessing; and the 
circumstances under which I was placed obliged me 
to comply with this slight request, although it was by 
no means a pleasant matter to lay my hands on all 
those dirty heads." 

These same people proved in the end most useful. 
Having received his blessing, they conducted the 
traveller to a place where they declared the water to 
be fordable. The ground, however, even here proved 
boggy, and the luggage had to be carried across by 
the people, the camels nearly sticking in the bog, even 
though unloaded ; while Dr. Barth, being persuaded by 
the natives that his dignity in presence of the native 
travellers absolutely required him to remain on horse- 
back, fell under his horse in the middle of the swamp. 
His journals got wet through, and they had the 
greatest difficulty in extricating the poor horse from 
the bog. 

On his passage through the district of Aribinda 



DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 295 

(that is, "the place beyond or south of the water"), 
Dr. Barth's luggage suffered somewhat from the many 
water-courses which he had to cross, and the greed of 
the Arabs. One governor, to whom he had already 
made several presents, somewhat astonished our trav- 
eller when he was setting out by begging the very 
tobe which he then was wearing ! 

In one village of industrious natives Dr. Barth 
found some of his English goods very acceptable, 
especially some English darning-needles, which fetched 
a very high price, though the small common needles 
were regarded with the utmost contempt. 

One of the most dangerous stages of the journey 
was that which lay through the country of the 
Tawarek, for there the crafty Arab companion of Dr. 
Barth could take full advantage of the European's 
dangerous situation. " On the one hand," says Dr. 
Barth, " it had become necessary to represent me to 
these simple people as a great sherif, and thus to 
excite their hospitable feelings, while at the same time 
he instigated me to reward their treatment in a 
generous manner, but nevertheless sold my presents 
to them as his own property ! It required a great 
deal of patience on my part to bear up against the 
numerous delays in this part of our journey, and to 
endure the many tricks played upon me by the treach- 
ery of my companion, in order to prevent at least 
his proceeding to open violence." 



296 DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 

At one place, on the departure of Dr. Barth, the 
whole population, both men and women, turned out 
to receive his blessing. " Among the women," Dr. 
Barth writes, " I discovered a few pretty young girls, 
especially one whose beauty was enhanced by her 
extreme shyness in approaching me ; but their dress 
was very poor indeed, consisting of coarse cotton 
stuff, which was wrapped round the body and brought 
down over the head." All the boys of the same place 
under twelve years of age had the left side of their 
head entirely shaven, while from the crop on the 
right side a long curl hung down. 

At another place they had a sign that they were 
approaching Timbuctoo, in the anxiety of the people to 
taste tea, which they called the water of Simsim, 
from the celebrated well of that name in Mecca. At 
another encampment farther on, the eagerness of the 
women to obtain tobacco was very remarkable, and 
they pestered the travellers during great part of the 
night by their demands for the luxury. 

On the 27th of August the explorers set out on 
their last journey by land, in order to reach the place 
where they were to embark on the river. At the 
town of Sarayamo they found a great many people 
collected to receive them ; and after firing a salute 
with their pistols, they .obtained, after some search, 
quarters large enough to admit the luggage. 

No sooner was the explorer settled than he was 



DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 297 

visited by a number of the more important natives, 
one of whom thought it strange that the so-called 
Syrian chief could not say his prayers with him in 
the courtyard. To allay the suspicions as to his re- 
ligion, Dr. Barth on one occasion felt himself obliged 
to repeat the opening prayer of the Koran, concluding, 
to the great amusement and delight of his hearers, 
with the Arabic . words meaning, " God may give 
water ;" which have become quite a common compli- 
mentary phrase — perhaps like our " Good-bye " — few 
people thinking of its original meaning. It so hap- 
pened that on the following night a heavy thunder- 
storm came on, bringing rain. Next day the inhabi- 
tants returned to beg a repetition of the stranger's 
performance. On the other hand, however, a blessing 
administered along with a strong emetic to the 
governor, who was setting out for the capital, turned 
out less successful ; for though the governor was well 
received in the capital, he was greatly shocked to 
learn that his blessing was that of a Christian. 

At the large island of Kora, where the Futta 
branch of the Niger joins the main stream, the trav- 
ellers were able to embark again on the Niger. In 
the neighbourhood through which they had just 
passed, the great river forms such a network of 
creeks, backwaters, and channels, as to spread over 
the whole country. Dr. Barth had hired a large 
boat from Timbuctoo for the exclusive use of his 



298 DR. BARTH' S TRAVELS. 

party, and great was his satisfaction when, on the 1st 
of September, he found himself floating on the back- 
water which was to carry him to the harbour of 
Timbuctoo. The boats were pushed along by poles, 
the water being often blocked by reeds and other 
growth, so that they seemed to be sailing over a 
grassy plain. The abundant fish kept them well 
supplied with fresh food ; and as they proceeded, great 
lizards, called zangways, basked at night, while still 
further down alligators and hippopotami were seen. 
Where the Futta joined the Niger stood a solitary 
group of trees, " which appeared," says Barth, " to 
form the usual nightly place of resort for all the 
water-fowl of the neighbourhood, the trunks as well 
as the branches of the trees showing traces of these 
visitors." 

At this point they left the shore, and entered the 
middle of the magnificent Niger river, called here the 
I'sa or Mayo Balleo. At this spot, about a mile 
across, the magnitude and solemn magnificence of the 
place under the rising moon were enhanced by the sum- 
mer-lightning at times breaking through the evening 
sky ; and Barth says his servants were inspired with 
real awe and almost fright, " while we were squatting 
on the shelving roof of our frail boat, and looked 
with searching eyes along the immense expanse of the 
river in a north-easterly direction, where the object of 
our journey was said to lie." 



DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 299 

The excitement of the day, or the previous night's 
wetting, brought a severe attack of fever on Barth 
when they lay-to at the town of Koiretago ; but in 
order to guard his luggage, he refused to go on shore 
and sleep on the fine sandy beach, but remained on 
board the frail boat. 

From this point, Barth followed close upon the 
track of the unfortunate traveller Major Laing, who 
had been assassinated two years before on his desper- 
ate journey from Timbuctoo. 

The river Niger was, where Barth crossed it, about 
three-quarters of a mile broad, but in the rainy 
season it lays the whole country to a great distance 
under water. Yet, except for a few fishing-boats, the 
grand river was tenantless. At one of the villages on 
this part of the river Barth received the unwelcome 
news that the sheik, El Bakay, on whose noble and 
trustworthy character he had placed his hopes of 
success, was away in Gundam. 

At Kabara, where a numerous fleet of good-sized 
boats was lying, Barth was visited by a party of 
armed men, horse and foot, from Timbuctoo, most of 
them clad in light-blue tobes, tightly girt round the 
waist with a shawl, and short breeches, their heads 
covered with a pointed straw hat. As they were 
busy in protecting their cattle from the Tawarek, they 
did not molest our traveller, except by their rude 
curiosity. 



300 DR. BARTH' S TRAVELS. 

Meanwhile a messenger had been despatched to 
Timbuctoo to obtain protection for our traveller, and 
in the evening Sheik El Bakay's brother arrived 
with his followers. Under the escort and protection 
of this chieftain, Barth proceeded the next day, Sep- 
tember 7 th, to Timbuctoo. 

The way at first lay through a desert tract, thickly 
lined with thorny bushes and stunted trees, infested 
by the Tawarek. This short road between the har- 
bour and the town is so unsafe that it bears the 
remarkable name, Ur-immandes (" he does not hear "), 
because the cry of the unfortunate victim cannot be 
heard from either side. 

As they approached the town, the travellers were 
met by a body of people who had come out to bid 
the stranger welcome. " This was," says Dr. Barth, 
"a very important moment, as, if they had felt the 
slightest suspicion with regard to my character, they 
might easily have prevented my entering the town at 
all, and thus even endangered my life. 

" I therefore took the hint of Alawate, who recom- 
mended me to make a start in advance and anticipate 
the salute of these people who had come to meet us ; 
and putting my horse to a gallop, and gun in hand, I 
galloped up to meet them, when I was received with 
many salaams. But a circumstance occurred which 
might have proved fatal not only to my enterprise, 
but even to my own personal safety, as there was a man 



DR. BABTH'S TBAVELS. 303 

among the group who addressed me in Turkish, which 
I had almost entirely forgotten, so that I could with 
difficulty make a suitable answer to his compliment ; 
but avoiding further indiscreet questions, I pushed on 
in order to get under safe cover. 

" Having then traversed the rubbish which has 
accumulated round the ruined clay wall of the town, 
and left on one side a row of dirty reed huts, which 
encompass the whole of the place, we entered the 
narrow streets and lanes, which scarcely allowed two 
horses to proceed abreast. But I was not a little 
surprised at the populous and wealthy character 
which this quarter of the town exhibited, many of 
the houses rising to the height of two stories. Fol- 
lowed by a numerous troop of people, we passed the 
house of the sheik, El Bakay, where I was desired 
to fire a pistol ; but as I had all my arms loaded with 
ball, I prudently declined to do so, and left it to one 
of my people to do honour to the house of our host. 
We thus reached the house on the other side of the 
street which was destined for my residence, and I 
was glad when I found myself safely in my new 
quarters." 

In Timbuctoo, the city of his hopes, unlooked-for 
trials awaited the brave traveller, and for long his 
life was endangered. The same Arab who had sug- 
gested that Dr. Barth should pass as a Mohammedan 
proved treacherous, and no sooner was it known that 



304 DR. BARTH' S TRAVELS. 

he was an infidel, as they called a Christian, than a 
party arose demanding either his expulsion or his 
death. Probably some heavy bribes might have soon 
quieted the clamour, but such means do not seem to 
have been tried ; and so their seven months' residence 
in the city was a dangerous and exciting time for 
Barth and his party. 

Although it had been arranged that during the 
absence of the sheik, El Bakay, whose special guest 
Barth was to be, no one should be allowed to see him, 
still numbers of inquisitive people gained access to his 
house, to the annoyance of the traveller, who was 
seriously ill. On the second day his health began to 
improve, however, and he received the visits of several 
respectable people. 

We cannot sufficiently admire the courage and 
self-reliance, the prudence and patience and industrious 
observation of our traveller at this trying time in 
Timbuctoo. For a time he was a prisoner in all but 
name. He writes thus : — 

" I was not allowed to stir about, but was confined 
within the walls of my house. In order to obviate 
the effect of this want of exercise as much as possible, 
to enjoy fresh air, and at the same time to become 
familiar with the principal features of the town, 
through which I was not allowed to move about at 
pleasure, I ascended as often as possible the terrace of 
my house. This afforded an excellent view over the 



DR. BAETH'S TRAVELS. 305 

northern quarter of the town. The style of the 
buildings was various. I could see clay houses of 
different characters, some low and unseemly, others 
rising with a second story in front to greater elevation, 
the whole being interrupted by a few round huts of 
matting. The streets being very narrow, only little 
was to be seen of the intercourse carried on in them, 
with the exception of the small market in the northern 
quarter, which was exposed to view on account of its 
situation on the slope of the sand-hills which, in 
course of time, have accumulated round the mosque. 

" But while the terrace of my house seemed to 
make me well acquainted with the character of the 
town, it had also the disadvantage of exposing me 
fully to the gaze of the passers-by, so that I could 
only slowly, and with many interruptions, succeed in 
making a sketch of the scene thus offered to my view." 

Our traveller made use of his leisure time during 
his imprisonment to send articles into the market, he 
himself purchasing some calico. In these peaceful 
occupations he was, however, disturbed by a rumour 
that his enemies were coming to attack him in his 
house. Barth suspecting his pretended friends to be 
at the bottom of the rumour, treated it with contempt. 
At the same time he improved his position in the town, 
at least with the more intelligent inhabitants, by a skil- 
ful discussion in favour of Christianity as opposed to 
Mohammedanism. 

(94) 20 



306 DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 

On the 13th of September our traveller received a 
friendly letter from El Bakay, to which he at once 
replied; and on the 26th the sheik himself arrived 
in Timbuctoo. Barth, being still unwell, had to put 
off receiving the sheik's visit until the following day, 
when they had a long conversation, chiefly concerning 
the unfortunate African traveller Major Laing, whose 
great bodily strength and noble and chivalrous char- 
acter the sheik could not sufficiently admire. Soon 
after the interview, Barth sent the sheik a handsome 
present, consisting of three bernouses, a Turkey carpet, 
four tobes, twenty Spanish dollars in silver, three 
black shawls, and other articles, the whole amounting 
to the value of about £30. In thanking Barth for 
his liberality, the sheik stated that he desired no 
more of the traveller at present ; but begged that on 
his safe return home Barth should not forget him, but 
request Her Majesty's Government to send him some 
good fire-arms and some Arabic books. This Barth 
willingly pledged himself to do. 

On one occasion the sheik made Barth fire off his 
six-barrelled pistol in front of the residence, before a 
numerous company of people. This caused great 
excitement and astonishment among the people, and 
exercised a great influence upon Barth's future safety, 
as it made them believe he had arms all over his 
person, and could fire as many times as he liked. 

On the 1st of October a body of armed men 




mm 




DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 309 

arrived from the residence of the sheik to whose 
nominal sway the town of Timbuctoo and the whole 
province had been subjected for many years. They 
brought with them an order to expel the stranger out 
of the town. This roused the spirit of El Bakay, who 
resolved to show that he was able to protect the 
traveller, whom he now removed for a short time to 
his camp without the town. This change was agree- 
able to Barth. He had more liberty and exercise, 
better air, and more varied scenery ; but his pleasure 
was marred by plots and intrigues. On the 13 th he 
returned to Timbuctoo; and although the city was 
much disturbed by warfare between the different 
tribes, he was able to explore the place more carefully. 
The stately appearance of Timbuctoo seems to have 
made a deep impression on the traveller's mind. 

The dangers of Dr. Barth's position were increasing 
daily, and soon he was again removed to the encamp- 
ment of El Bakay. In vain he urged his protector 
to provide the means of escape. His enemies were 
not now confined to one small party ; — their name 
was legion. Every week fresh parties kept arriving 
with orders to seize the stranger, dead or alive. One 
of these parties actually attacked the camp, but was 
driven back by the brave traveller and his faithful 
protectors. In fact, as Barth says, his mere presence 
in the city or its neighbourhood seemed to have upset 
the daily life of the whole community. To add to 



310 DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 

the traveller's misery, he was the constant victim of 
fever, for Timbuctoo is by no means a healthy place. 

At last a fortunate chance turned the tide of per- 
secution. On the 19th of December the chief of the 
Berabish, who had arrived with a large body of armed 
followers to take our traveller's life, fell suddenly sick 
and died. 

" His death," says Dr. Barth, " made an extraor- 
dinary impression upon the people, as it was a well- 
known fact that it was his father who had killed 
Major Laing, the former Christian who had visited 
this place ; and the more so, as it was generally be- 
lieved that I was Major Laing's son. 

" The people could not but think that there was 
some supernatural connection between the death of 
this man, at this place and at this period, and the 
murderous deed perpetrated by his father ; and, on 
the whole, I cannot but think that this event exercised 
a salutary influence upon my final safety. The 
followers of the chief of the Berabish were so fright- 
ened, that they came in great procession to the sheik 
El Bakay to beg his pardon for their neglect, and to 
obtain his blessing; "nay, the old man himself," Barth 
writes, "a short time afterwards sent word that he 
would in no way interfere with my departure, but 
wished nothing better than that I might reach home 
in safety." 

The river was at this time rising rapidly, and soon 



DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 311 

filled the valleys of this sandy region. On Christmas 
day, 1853, the water entered the wells round the 
southern part of the town — an event which happens 
only about every third year. At the end of January 
the inundation of the Niger reached its height. Soon 
boats began to arrive from other towns, bringing 
supplies of corn, so that provisions at Timbuctoo 
became much cheaper. 

Of Timbuctoo as a trading town Dr. Barth says : 
" Almost the whole life of the city is based on foreign 
commerce, for the splendid river enables the inhabi- 
tants to supply all their wants from without. Native 
corn is not raised here in sufficient quantities to feed 
even a very small proportion of the population. 

" The only manufactures of the city, as far as fell 
under my observation, are confined to the art of the 
blacksmith and to a little leather-work. Some of 
these articles, such as provision or luggage bags, 
cushions, small leather pouches for tobacco, and gun- 
cloths, especially the leather bags, are very neat ; but 
even these are mostly manufactured at Tawarek, and 
especially by females, so that the industry of the city 
is hardly of any account." 

Not much dyeing or weaving is done in Timbuctoo, 
clothing being chiefly imported from other places. 
Some of the natives, however, are very skilful in 
adorning their clothing with a fine stitching of silk ; 
and those of some of the neighbouring districts pro- 



312 DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 

duce excellent woollen blankets and carpets of vari- 
ous colours, which are in great demand among the 
natives. 

Many articles used in Timbuctoo Dr. Barth found 
to be of English manufacture, brought either through 
Morocco or by way of Sivera, where there are many 
European merchants. All the cutlery used in Tim- 
buctoo is of English workmanship ; all the calico Barth 
saw bore the name of one and the same Manchester 
firm, printed in Arabic letters. Tea was largely 
bought by the Arabs, though still too dear for the 
natives. Tobacco, red cloth, sashes, and looking- 
glasses seemed in great demand. 

Almost the only things sent out from Timbuctoo 
at the time of Dr. Barth's visit seemed to be gold, 
some gum and wax, a little ivory, and occasionally a 
few slaves. The place seemed to him to offer a 
great field for European trade, were it not for the 
difficulties in the way of free intercourse with Euro- 
peans. The position of the town, at the edge of the 
desert and on the border of various tribes, seemed to 
make a strong government very difficult, almost im- 
possible ; while its distance from the west coast or 
the mouth of the Niger made it inaccessible. Yet, 
on the other hand, the great facilities of the noble 
river, and the security by a mountain chain and a 
tract of frightful desert from all danger of French 
attack from Algeria or Senegal, and the former 



DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 313 

friendly feelings of the natives towards the English, 
seemed to point to a sure way for English pioneers. 

After many delays on account of the illness of Dr. 
Barth, and other reasons, and one or two false starts, 
a final and real start from Timbuctoo was made on 
the 18 th of May. It must have been with no small 
delight that our traveller found himself at last free 
for ever from the turbulent Fulbe and Tawarek and 
their swampy regions. He found the country gradu- 
ally improved. The route lay partly along the banks 
of the magnificent river, on beautiful sandy beaches, 
at times shut in by downs, richly clad with dum 
palms and other trees. The prevalence of swamps, 
however, forced the travellers occasionally to a distance 
from the river ; but even there the country was en- 
livened by grassy creeks, with groves and villages, 
and herds of cattle, sheep, and goats. 

Without any serious perils our traveller reached 
Gogo, the ancient capital of a strong and mighty 
empire. " Cheered at having reached this spot," 
writes Dr. Barth, " I passed a tranquil night, and 
rising early in the morning, lay down outside my 
tent, quietly enjoying the prospect over this once 
busy locality, which, according to many writers, was 
once the most splendid city of Negroland, though it 
is now the desolate abode of a small and miserable 
population. Just opposite to my tent was a ruined 
massive tower, the last remains of the principal 



314 DR. BABTH'S TBAVELS. 

mosque of the capital, the sepulchre of the great 
conqueror Mohammed." 

Except this tower, however, all that remained of 
the once great city of Negroland was some three to 
four hundred huts, in separate groups, and surrounded 
by heaps of rubbish. Here an old man offered to 
conduct our traveller to a place of interest, and led 
him through the rubbish to a long narrow clay build- 
ing; but the master of the house refused them admit- 
tance. Dr. Barth seems to think this may have been 
the burial-place of Mungo Park. 

To the south of this old capital of Negroland the 
country improved greatly, and on July 9 th Barth, 
bidding farewell to his kind old friend El Bakay, who 
had escorted him thus far, crossed the river some ten 
miles below Gogo. From this place to Say, where he 
had first crossed the river, a distance of more than 
two hundred and fifty miles, was traversed in safety, 
except for an alarming adventure with some mounted 
natives, who mistook his party for a hostile army, and 
were about to attack them. In the half-civilized 
regions through which the return journey lay, there 
was the same trouble with greedy rulers, the same 
annoyances from thievish, hostile natives, the same 
trials of rains, swamps, and fevers, that had marked 
the outward journey. More than once, too, their sup- 
plies gave out, and threatened them with starvation. 
At the town of Sokoto a pleasant surprise awaited 



DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 315 

them in the shape of news that Mr. Vogel and a party 
of English travellers sent out by Government had 
arrived in Kukawa. 

Dr. Barth thus describes his meeting with Mr. 
Vogel : " Having rejoined my camels, I set out with- 
out delay through the forest, taking the lead with my 
head servant ; but I had scarcely proceeded three miles 
when I saw advancing towards me a person of strange 
aspect — a young man of very fair complexion, dressed 
in a tobe like the one I wore myself, and with a white 
turban wound thickly round his head. He was accom- 
panied by two or three blacks, likewise on horseback. 
One of them I recognized as my servant Madi, whom, 
on setting out from Kukawa, I had left in the house 
as a guardian. As soon as he saw me he told the 
young man that I was Abd el Kerim ; in consequence 
of which Mr. Vogel (for he it was) rushed forward, 
and, taken by surprise as both of us were, we gave 
each other a hearty reception from horseback. As 
for myself, I had not had the remotest expectation of 
meeting him ; and he, on his part, had only a short 
time before received the intelligence of my safe return 
from the west. Not having the slightest notion that 
I was alive, and judging from its Arab address that 
the letter which I forwarded to him from Kano was 
a letter from some Arab, he had put it by without 
opening it, waiting till he might meet with a person 
who should be able to read it. 



316 DB. BABTH'S TBAVELS. 

" In the midst of this inhospitable forest we dis- 
mounted and sat down together on the ground ; and 
my camels having arrived, I took out my small bag 
of provisions, and had some coffee boiled, so that we 
were quite at home. It was with great amazement 
that I heard from my young friend that there were 
no supplies in Kukawa ; that what he had brought 
with him had been spent ; and that the usurper, Abd 
e' Rahman, had treated him very badly, having even 
taken possession of the property which I had left in 
Zinder." 

Soon the rest of the caravan came up, and were 
amazed to find their leader quietly conversing with 
a friend in the midst of the forest, while the whole 
district was infested by hostile men. 

After arranging to meet in Kukawa before the end 
of the month, the two friends separated, Mr. Vogel 
going on to Zinder, Dr. Barth hastening to overtake 
his people. 

On reaching safely the town of Kukawa, from 
which place he had first commenced his journeys of 
exploration into Negroland, it might seem as if our 
traveller had at last overcome all his difficulties, and 
should be able to enjoy a short rest before setting out 
on the last stage of his homeward journey. But such 
was not the case, and he had to pass four rather un- 
pleasant months in the town. Being in want of 
money, and finding that a great part of Mr. Vogel's 



DR. BARTH' S TRAVELS. 317 

stores had been abstracted, Dr. Barth explained these 
matters to the sheik, to whom he first made a present 
of about £8 in money. By so doing he incurred the 
dislike of one of the most influential courtiers, whose 
servant, or more probably himself, had obtained the 
greater share of the plunder. Another disagreeable 
circumstance was the unfriendly relation between Mr. 
Vogel and Corporal Church, one of his sappers, which 
Dr. Barth did his best to improve. 

More pleasant occupation was found in looking 
over the books Mr. Vogel had brought with him, 
and also re-reading a packet of letters, some dated 
as far back as December 1851, found in a box which 
had been plundered. Partly in fulfilment of a vow 
he had made, and partly to make the natives more 
friendly towards him, Dr. Barth made a present to 
the inhabitants of the capital on Christmas day of 
fourteen oxen, not forgetting either rich or poor, blind 
or maimed, nor even the Arab strangers. 

On the 29th of December Mr. Vogel returned to 
Ktikawa, and Dr. Barth and the brave enterprising 
young traveller spent twenty days together very 
pleasantly, the latter quickly adapting himself to the 
strange new life. In his youthful enthusiasm, how- 
ever, Mr. Vogel seems sometimes to have made the 
mistake of expecting that his companions, recently 
arrived from Europe, perhaps with less elevated ideas 
of their mission, should, like himself, give up all their 



318 DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 

pretensions to comfort. Thus quarrels arose, and hin- 
dered the work of the party sent out by Government. 
The more experienced and the young traveller, how- 
ever, passed their time very pleasantly, exchanging 
opinions about the countries both had already trav- 
ersed, and making plans for Mr. Vogel's future course, 
Dr. Barth giving his young friend much information, 
and the care of clearing up several undecided points. 

" Thus," he writes, " we began cheerfully the year 
1855, in which I was to return to Europe from my 
long career of hardships and privations, and in which 
my young friend was to endeavour to complete my 
discoveries and researches. 

" Meanwhile some interesting excursions to the 
shores of the Tchad formed a pleasant interruption 
in our course of studies and scientific communication ; 
and these little trips were especially interesting on 
account of the extraordinary manner in which the 
shores of the lake had been changed since I last saw 
them." 

There were two subjects which caused Dr. Barth 
anxiety about the future of the enterprising young 
explorer Mr. Vogel ; — the first, his want of experience, 
for he was still a young man, and fresh from Europe ; 
the other was his weakness of digestion, which made 
it impossible for him to eat meat of any kind. The 
very sight of a dish of meat made him sick. 

Having assisted Mr. Vogel with all his preparations, 



DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 319 

and foreseeing trouble with the transporting of his 
rather heavy and unusual luggage, the older traveller 
escorted his young friend out of the town on the 
20th of January, bearing him company in the fol- 
lowing day's march, and leaving him with the best 
of wishes. Corporal Macguire went on with Mr. 
Vogel, but it was thought best for Corporal Church 
to return to Europe with Dr. Barth — perhaps because 
of the frequent disagreements between him and his 
young commanding officer. 

This was the last Dr. Barth saw of the brave young 
explorer, who set out so cheerfully and hopefully. It 
is supposed that he was afterwards murdered, while 
Macguire probably shared a similar fate, on his way 
home, at the well of Bedwaram. 

Barth meanwhile returned to Kukawa, feeling 
rather desolate and lonely. The cold to which he 
had been exposed on the previous night brought on 
a violent attack of rheumatism, which laid him up 
for a long time, causing him many sleepless nights, 
and leaving him unusually weak. Yet he repeatedly 
begged the sheik to let him depart, and supply him 
at least with camels to make up for the loss he had 
suffered from the insurrection in the town. To his 
great delight, two respectable Arabs offered to accom- 
pany him to Fezzan. 

On the 20th of February Barth left Kukawa, and 
pitched his tent on the high ground outside the city, 



320 DR. BARTH' S TRAVELS. 

feeling extremely happy in having at length left be- 
hind him a town of which he had become very tired. 

But he was not to get off so easily ; for the sheik, 
with whom, as with most of his kind, time was of no 
value, managed to hinder the traveller. At last, see- 
ing his determination, the sheik sent five camels, 
which, though of inferior quality, enabled Barth to 
set out. But still there was delay, as the sheik 
earnestly desired Barth to return to the town, prom- 
ising him the fulfilment of all his claims. Anxious 
to leave on good terms with the chief, the traveller 
went into the town again, but declined to stay, as his 
health rendered it necessary that he should at once 
return home. Expecting to be hindered yet a couple 
of months if he remained in the town, he offered to 
wait outside the city for a few days longer, and if 
the sheik should wish to see him, to come to the 
residence every day. To this the sheik agreed, and 
the two parted in the most quiet and satisfactory 
manner, and it appeared as if everything were ar- 
ranged. Accordingly our traveller purchased two 
more camels, and on the 25th engaged a guide, pay- 
ing him half his salary in advance. 

But when all seemed ready for departure, again a 
message came from the sheik ordering Barth to re- 
turn. He did so very reluctantly, and found that the 
chief was unwilling to let him depart unsatisfied. 
Meanwhile a large caravan had arrived from the north, 



DR. BABTH'S TBAVELS. 321 

bringing, among other things, money for the English 
mission ; addressed, however, not to Dr. Barth, who 
had been given up as lost, but to Mr. Vogel. This 
made Barth's position still more unpleasant ; for, in- 
stead of leaving the country honourably, he was now 
considered as almost disgraced by those who had sent 
him, the command seeming to have been taken from 
him and given to another and a younger man. This 
still further delayed his departure, and it was not 
until the 4 th of May that Barth finally left the town 
and encamped outside the gate. There he waited 
some days for a fellow-traveller, Kolo, who was still 
detained in the town, and so did not take leave of the 
sheik until the 9th of the month. 

" He received me," says Barth, " with great kind- 
ness, but was by no means backward in begging for 
several articles to be sent to him, especially a small 
cannon ; which was rather out of comparison with the 
poor present which he had bestowed upon myself." 

Just before setting out, Barth lost three camels, 
so that he was obliged to throw away several things, 
with which his people had overladen his animals. 

The final start was made on the 10th of May, in a 
heavy thunder-storm. But nevertheless, Barth says, 
" I was filled with the hope that a merciful Providence 
would allow me to reach home in safety, in order to 
give a full account of my labours and discoveries." 

The first night of their march was somewhat dis- 

(94) 21 



322 DR. BARTH' S TRAVELS. 

turbed by the noise and cries of three monkeys which 
Barth wished to take to Europe. They so frightened 
the camels that they started off at a gallop, breaking 
several things, amongst others a strong musket. 
Nothing could be done but to let loose the malicious 
little creatures ; which, instead of remaining quiet, 
amused themselves with loosening all the ropes with 
which the luggage was tied on to the backs of the 
animals. 

At Bedwaram (where poor Macguire was probably 
afterwards killed) the travellers stopped for supplies 
of water, but had great trouble in opening the well. 
Then followed a tedious night march through the 
dreary desert of Tintumma, where Barth, lingering 
too long over a cup of coffee, got left behind, and 
would probably have had some difficulty in rejoining 
the caravan, had not the servants, contrary to his 
orders to spare the powder as much as possible, kept 
firing their pistols off at random. Cheered by the 
firing, and perhaps impressed with the awful character 
of the country through which they were travelling at 
such an hour, the slaves, forgetful of their over-fatigue, 
kept up an uninterrupted song, which reached the 
ears of Barth as he followed at some distance. When 
their leader did at last overtake them, the servants 
and slaves would fain have lagged behind, being very 
weary, and Barth had trouble in urging them on, to 
prevent them falling a sacrifice to thirst and fatigue. 



DR. BARTE'S TRAVELS. 323 

At the beautiful well of Dibbela (which, however, 
contains abominable water), Mr. Henry Warrington, 
who had accompanied Vogel to Kiikawa, fell ill of 
dysentery — probably the result of the heat and the 
bad water. 

After much weary travelling over sandy deserts 
under scorching suns, Barth at length approached 
Tripoli. Very pleasant were the kind messages await- 
ing him, and most welcome to the exhausted traveller 
was the sight of the wide expanse of sea, which in the 
bright southern sunshine spreads out with a tint of 
the darkest blue. He thus describes his feelings : — 

" I felt so grateful to Providence for having again 
reached in safety the border of the Mediterranean 
basin, the cradle of European civilization, which from 
an early period had formed the object of my earnest 
longings and most serious course of studies, that I 
would fain have alighted from my horse on the sea- 
beach to offer up a prayer of thanksgiving to the 
Almighty, who, with the most conspicuous mercy, had 
led me through the many dangers which surrounded 
my path, both from fanatical men and an unhealthy 
climate." 

Having stayed four days in Tripoli, where he was 
warmly welcomed by many friends, Barth embarked 
in a Turkish steamer returning to Malta. There he 
reembarked, and landing at Marseilles, passed through 
Paris, and reached London on the 6th September, 



324 DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS. 

where he was kindly received by Lord Palmerston 
and Lord Clarendon, who took the greatest interest in 
hearing of the remarkable success that had attended 
his expedition. He had been absent from Europe 
nearly five and a half years. The whole expedition 
had cost the Government a sum under £1,400. 

Barth had indeed good reason to be thankful for 
the good fortune that had attended him. The mere 
fact of his having entered and left Timbuctoo alive 
and unharmed was in itself a remarkable proof of his 
zeal and perseverance. 

His discoveries had been many and valuable, and 
afforded much new information about the past history 
and present condition, manners, customs, and distinc- 
tions of the various tribes of Central Africa, both 
Arab and Negro. But his grand discovery was that 
concerning the Niger — " the great highway of West 
Central Africa," as he aptly named it. He succeeded 
in exploring that part of the river left unknown by 
the untimely fate of Mungo Park. It is to Dr. Barth 
that we owe the discovery that the Benue' is a tribu- 
tary of the Niger, and that by it European boats can 
reach the regions bordering on Lake Tchad. 

Not only did Barth succeed in making known a 
part of Africa hitherto unknown even to most Arab 
merchants, but he also contrived to establish friendly 
relations with all the most powerful chiefs along the 
river, up even to the mysterious city of Timbuctoo. 



DR. BABTH'S TBAVELS. 325 

For Britain Dr. Barth's discoveries have a special 
importance ; for, by showing the friendly feelings of 
the negro states towards England, they pointed a way 
to a great field for missionary enterprise, and the 
ending of the disgraceful traffic in slaves. It seems 
that the sovereigns of Central Africa, when pressed 
by debts which they cannot otherwise meet, or eager 
to obtain arms and gunpowder, endeavour to capture 
the black bullion of the country, which they sell to 
the Americans, or exchange for the instruments of war. 
Dr. Barth thinks that if these native princes could 
be got to understand that Europeans are willing to 
exchange the European goods for cotton, rice, and such 
useful products, doubtless those commodities would be 
more cultivated, and peace take the place of war. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 

Among recent African travellers Mr. Joseph Thompson 
takes high and honourable rank. He was second in 
command of the expedition which Mr. Keith Johnston 
led ; and when that gentleman met his untimely death 
at the very outset of his enterprise, the journey was 
carried on by Mr. Thompson to a successful close. 
This was the beginning of young Thompson's career 
as an explorer, which has since gone on with increas- 
ing results and distinction. The traveller is still a 
young man, and, if life be spared to him, may be ex- 
pected to do yet more signal work in Africa. His 
book, " Through Masailand," was received with marked 
favour by the press and the public, and at once placed 
the author in the foremost rank of African explorers. 
The writer of these pages had the pleasure of meet- 
ing Mr. Thompson shortly after his return from one 
of his African journeys, and of hearing from the young 
traveller's own lips many interesting and curious de- 
tails of life and pioneer work in Central Africa. We 



MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 327 

particularly remember Mr. Thompson's remarks as to 
the strange fascination which African travel exerts 
for all who have ever had experience of it ; — how, in 
spite of the innumerable hardships and daily perils 
that must be encountered, in spite of the deadly nature 
of the climate and the certainty of the traveller suf- 
fering more or less from its poison, the charm of 
African travel still remains irresistible, luring back 
the explorer again and again, though he knows all the 
while that every new expedition probably cuts years 
off his life. 

One of Mr. Thompson's latest journeys was along 
the course of the Niger to the central Soudan. As 
being germane to our subject, and an appropriate con- 
clusion to this brief story of the Niger, we purpose 
giving an epitome of his experiences of a region which 
the labours, the heroism, and the death of many brave 
men have now rendered almost classic ground. 

Mr. Thompson left Liverpool for the African coast 
in February 1885, and after touching at Madeira, 
Teneriffe, and Canary, landed at Bathurst on the 
Gambia river. Here the young traveller did not fail 
to visit the house which Mungo Park occupied while 
preparations were in train for his great journey. We 
may imagine what absorbing interest this spot would 
have for Mr. Thompson ; for here were forged the 
beginnings of the long chain of African exploration 
in which Mungo Park was the first link, and Mr. 



328 MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 

Thompson himself among the latest. Wh6 will be 
the last, final link, and at what date he will fall, who 
may say ? 

From Bathurst the traveller journeyed to Sierra 
Leone, which he describes as the chief centre of illu- 
mination for the Dark Continent. That is to say, the 
people of Sierra Leone regard themselves as decidedly 
persons of distinction, intellectually speaking; and Mr. 
Thompson gives us a rapid but amusing glimpse of 
the Sierra Leone "nigger," promenading himself in 
pants of the latest Parisian mode, an astonishing ex- 
panse of snow-white linen, stove-pipe hat cocked 
jantily over his nose, and flourishing the trimmest of 
canes in his dusky hand — altogether putting on an 
amount of " weather-helm," as sailors say, that to 
the stranger is highly edifying. 

Mr. Thompson's first glimpse of the Niger was the 
reverse of alluring. " Everything looked miserable 
and dreary — a steaming atmosphere, rain, thunder, 
lightning, and the most threatening of clouds." To 
right and left the eye of the traveller rested on nought 
but interminable expanses of mangroves, between 
which monotonous walls the great river stretched for- 
ward in long reaches, discoloured and gloomy in hue, 
and throwing out numerous arms this way and that 
— a depressing vista that summoned up dreary visions 
of fever and ague, and the innumerable physical ills 
that dog the footsteps of the white man in Africa. 



MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 329 

Mr. Thompson had visited many places which dis- 
puted for the honour of being the true " white man's 
grave," but his first view of the Niger went far to 
convince him that, as the advertisements say, " none 
other was genuine." 

At Akassa, the headquarters of the National African 
Company, whose servant Mr. Thompson for the time 
being was, the traveller's sea-journey ended. A beach 
strewn with the hulls of old ships and steamers, an 
old timber jetty, and a new iron one in course of 
construction, and behind these the residences of the 
merchants, looking pleasantly cool beneath their broad 
verandas, the whole framed in by the mangrove woods 
— such are the general features of Akassa. Mr. 
Thompson was hospitably welcomed and entertained 
by the palm-oil merchants of the depot, the kindliness 
of his reception going a considerable way towards 
raising his spirits from the depression which his first 
glimpses of the Niger had induced. 

We next behold the traveller fairly afloat on the 
great river, his means of transit being the National 
African Company's steam-launch Frangais. His 
physical feelings are not enviable ; for to the intense 
heat of the atmosphere is added the circumstance that 
he sits close alongside the boilers, so that he is all 
the time very much like a man in a Turkish bath 
against his will. But the scene which feasted the 
traveller's eyes in a great measure compensated for 



330 MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 

the discomfort of his bodily sensations. His first 
unfavourable impressions of the Niger had now dis- 
appeared — no longer did he view it as the white 
man's sepulchre. In place of the gloomy swamps, 
miasma-breathing marshes, and fever-laden air which 
characterize the entrance of the river, his gaze now 
rested on magnificent virgin forests of silk-cotton and 
palm-oil trees. Here, the Frangais glided past little 
hamlets of square-shaped huts set in plantations of 
cocoa-nut trees ; there, clearings planted with sugar- 
cane, beans, and yams. Naked boys sported in the 
warm waters in the vicinity of the villages, who 
shouted and laughed as the steamer drew near; women 
carrying water from the river swelled the hubbub, 
while others came flying out from the houses to watch 
the steamer pass. Some of the men, with an eye to 
business, put off in their canoes and offered fish for 
sale to the travellers, while others quietly watched 
the Frangais from the shore unmoved and unexcited ; 
and Mr. Thompson could not help thinking of the 
old days of African travel, when such an invasion 
of the black man's territory as he was now making 
would have been met at the spear-point. 

In these Niger hamlets all the work of the field 
seemed to be borne by the women, and our travellers 
constantly beheld groups of them preparing palm oil 
and engaged in other plantation work. The scenery 
of the river changed continually as the little launch 



MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 331 

followed its windings. Now it twisted and coiled in 
serpent-like folds, now it broadened into a flashing 
lake, girdled with yellow sand and framed in by 
the primeval forest. Huts dotted the banks, canoes 
paddled up and down the stream, a fresh breeze blew 
in the face of the travellers, and in this wise the 
Frangais pursued her voyage towards the Soudan 
gaily enough. 

Now and then an incident of a more stirring char- 
acter befell — such as the appearance of a hippopotamus. 
A shout from the lookout-man, a sudden snatching up 
of rifles, and a hurrying to get sight of the formidable 
river-horse ! But before aim can be taken the un- 
wieldy creature has gone down again, leaving nothing 
behind him but a grunt, and Master Hippo is not to 
be caught " this trip," as they say in Australia. 

On the fourth day of the Frangais' voyage, the 
travellers (Mr. Thompson was accompanied by two 
comrades) were able to form a just estimate of the 
full breadth and volume of the majestic river whose 
course they were following. The height of the banks 
was now between twenty and thirty feet, the stretch 
of gleaming river and golden sand between being 
from one mile to a mile and a half in extent. 

Evidences of trade now met the gaze on every 
hand. Every mile or two a very practical-looking 
factory, with unsesthetic galvanized iron roof and 
whitewashed walls, broke the dense greenery of the 



332 MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 

forest. Every year the stillness of the woods is 
being more and more disturbed by- the whistle of the 
steamer ; every year the leopard and the monkey are 
driven further back into their forest fastnesses. The 
Niger, as an exciting arena of sport and hairbreadth 
adventure, is yearly getting the romance knocked 
out of it. Reflecting upon all which, Mr. Thompson, 
who, we suspect, is more of a traveller and a sports- 
man, after all, than a trader, could not suppress a 
sigh. Disembarking at the residence of an " agent," 
he was greeted by gentlemen fashionably set forth in 
linen of the whitest and shiniest, and escorted into a 
house appointed with mahogany English furniture, 
while summer-houses and sunflowers were among the 
amenities of the surrounding gardens. Finally, a 
dinner of European quality, and more than European 
abundance, was spread for the stranger's entertain- 
ment. 

This was all very pleasant and comfortable, but it 
was hardly this phase of life on the Niger that Mr. 
Thompson was desirous of studying. As soon as 
possible, therefore, he betook himself to the contem- 
plation of natural man as he manifests himself on the 
Niger. Here again he was fated to disenchantment. 
The once wild and untutored black man, who had at 
least a sort of savage grandeur and picturesqueness, is 
now a " nigger " merely, passes the time of day to the 
stranger, and wears a lawn-tennis hat emblazoned with 



MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 333 

the self-same device with which young English tennis 
dandies delight to broider theirs — the ubiquitous sun- 
flower. Indeed, this unmistakable note of an aesthetic 
civilization notwithstanding, the negroes of the Niger 
are at present poor and wretched creatures, half- 
starved in body and worn down by incessant civil 
feuds and warfare. But there are signs, Mr. Thomp- 
son tells us, that a brighter future is in store for these 
races, when the British Government shall have become 
firmly established as the protectors of the region. 

And here it is fitting to note a change which took 
place in Mr. Thompson's opinion in regard to the effect 
of trade and civilization on the Niger. At first he 
was disposed to think that the chief result of the 
white man's commerce with the natives of the Niger 
had been to inoculate them with a love of strong 
drink, the disastrous effects of which were abundantly 
manifest on the coast settlements. But as he jour- 
neyed further up the river, he was glad to notice a 
vast improvement on this point. He found large 
stores filled with European cloth and hardware destined 
for the native population, while the stock of gin and 
other ardent liquors was by comparison very small. 
The African Company alone is to be thanked for this 
new and admirable departure, and it is doing all in 
its power to retrieve the evil done under the former 
system of trading. 

After halting awhile at Lokoja, where he was joined 



334 ME. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 

by Mr. W. J. Seago, a gentleman who had passed 
seven years on the Niger, Mr. Thompson resumed his 
journey. The river was now flowing through a deep 
valley, banked by precipitous cliffs. The scenery was 
in parts romantic, and the heat " simply terrific." On 
March 31st Egga was reached, a considerable town, 
and here an interpreter joined the expedition. At 
Shunga, where Mr. Forbes the naturalist had died a 
short time before, Mr. Thompson was much interested 
in the Yoruba men and the Nupe women traders, and 
especially in the enormous quantity of clothing worn 
by both. A Yoruba merchant's pants consume fifteen 
yards of cotton cloth, his coat rather more, his turban 
thirty yards ; throw in ten yards for superfluous 
adornment, and you have seventy yards of cloth in 
all. Here, as Mr. Thompson suggests, is a magnificent 
field for European enterprise — where forty millions 
of African negroes shall require garments of this 
voluminous character. 

Shunga was the last of the trading stations in the 
track of the expedition. Mr. Thompson now anti- 
cipated, being quite beyond the pale of civilization, 
" stirring times." He got them, but not quite of the 
sort he had calculated on. He and Mr. Seago were 
for some little time kept remarkably busy, but not 
by adventures with wild animals and wilder natives, 
but by dissension and mutiny among his own men. 
From threatening to murder their leaders, several of 



MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 335 

the native followers actually proceeded to the attempt, 
and in one instance just missed being successful. 
These acts of rebellion and outrage had, of course, to 
be met with the sternest remedies, and Mr. Thompson 
and Mr. Seago had literally to fight the more insub- 
ordinate of their men hand to hand. The struggle 
for final mastery was a desperate one, but at last 
victory lay with the white men ; and their swarthy 
antagonists were taught that respect for their leaders 
without which such an expedition as Mr. Thompson 
had in hand must inevitably end in shipwreck. 

The journey now led almost due north as far as 
Kontokora. Fresh hardships soon overtook the little 
party. One of Mr. Thompson's comrades, who was in 
front with an advance guard, broke his leg, and had 
to be sent back ; supplies of food were difficult to 
be obtained, through the obstinacy of native chiefs ; 
and lastly, a terrific tornado broke over the camp. 
The tents were wrecked, and in the confusion and 
dreadful darkness which accompanied the storm the 
horses took fright and broke away from their fasten- 
ings. Day dawned to find the party in the most 
miserable case. A dozen porters and half the horse- 
boys had deserted ; and with their numerical strength 
thus diminished, and after much delay in recapturing 
the horses, the expedition again moved forward. 

A halt was made towards noon, and aid was pro- 
cured at Bukani for the more exhausted of the natives. 



336 MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 

The expedition had marched all the morning fasting, 
and all were at the end of their physical resources. 
Food was now obtained, however, and the night was 
passed in the midst of a second furious tornado. 
Next day the outlook did not brighten. The men, 
wearied by the march and exhausted from insufficient 
food, again showed signs of mutiny. They declared 
that unless they were provided with fish and rice they 
would give up the march. To procure rice and fish 
was a difficult and expensive matter. The Brassmen 
were those who were most unreasonable in their 
demands and most obstinate in their refusal to work. 
These were finally told that they might desert if they 
cared or dared. They did not dare, for retreat had 
now more risk in it than advance. Next morning 
the remainder of the horse-boys deserted, and Mr. 
Thompson and Mr. Seago had now to be their own 
grooms. 

Every day matters looked more gloomy. Food 
continued to be difficult to procure, and the rebellious 
spirit in the camp broke out again and again. Much 
to the regret and chagrin of Mr. Thompson, his work 
at this time was little better than that of a slave- 
driver. But it was either this or a total abandonment 
of the expedition and inglorious retreat to the coast. 

Amid these many and various harassments and 
annoyances, Mr. Thompson was nevertheless not en- 
tirely without solace. On the whole the march itself 



MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 337 

was not a difficult or toilsome one, but led by winding 
ways through pine forest land, thickly set with shea- 
butter trees. Everywhere the vegetation was of 
tropical wealth, and lush-green in its luxuriance ; the 
vivid emeralds varied, however, by tints of gold and 
copper, like an English autumn coppice. Neither was 
water wanting to complete the landscape — bright 
streams bubbling through the forest alleys, about 
whose marge the palm-oil trees clustered in shady 
clumps. Large towns in complete ruin were here and 
there passed, and now and then a clearing. If the 
reader will turn back upon these pages, he will find 
Clapperton making mention of cities, with populations 
of tens of thousands, scattered about the same region 
of Northern Nupe ; and Mr. Thompson, beholding 
these ruins, could not but reflect on their lost pros- 
perity with sadness. For then this land was a rich 
and bountiful one, and the peoples of these ruined 
towns enjoyed life after their own rude free fashion, 
with feast, song, and dance. Civil war has wrought 
the miserable change, and the populations of these 
once flourishing towns are dead, or worse — sold into 
slavery. Everywhere Mr. Thompson saw the wreck 
of what had once been fertile fields. Since his 
journey, let it be added, Nupe' has been placed under 
a British protectorate, and its people may now expect 
at least immunity from their oppressors. 

As the expedition drew near Kontokora, which is 

(94) 22 



338 MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 

a considerable town, Mr. Thompson and Mr. Seago 
advanced to the front. Presently strains of wild 
music fell upon their ears — the music of pipes and 
trumpets and tom-toms. Then a company of horse- 
men were seen — Filianis who had ridden forth to 
meet the strangers. With a wild shout, the horsemen 
bore down upon the white men, each cavalier brandish- 
ing aloft his spear, and all gorgeously arrayed in 
Oriental fashion, with trappings of leather, cloth, and 
brass, and turbans of the most voluminous description. 
So warlike was the appearance of these Filiani cavalry, 
that Mr. Thompson at first judged their intentions to 
be hostile ; but this was only the national manner of 
salute. Two venerable old men were now beheld 
seated beneath a tree, to whom the white men, con- 
cluding them to be persons of degree, advanced, and 
were received with much ceremony and many compli- 
ments. Amid a renewed uproar of shouting, and 
music of the pipes and tom-toms, Mr. Thompson was 
then conducted to Kontokora. Crowds lined the 
streets to witness the advent of the white men whose 
coming was expected, and amid a surprising show of 
state and pomp the strangers were escorted to the 
house which had been prepared for their reception, 
and where an abundant feast had been spread for 
their refreshment. This hospitable reception inspired 
Mr. Thompson with the hope that the worst of his 
difficulties were over, 



MB. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 341 

After staying two days at Kontokora, the march 
was resumed in a north-westerly direction, and the 
Niger was again struck near the Boussa Falls, the spot, 
our reader may remember, where Park met his death. 
The course of the river was followed as far as its 
tributary the Gulbi-n-Gindi, along which the ex- 
pedition then proceeded. Here Mr. Thompson was 
struck down with severe sickness, which was like to 
end seriously, had not the course of the malady at 
last yielded to the treatment before reaching the most 
acute stage. He had hardly recovered from this 
illness when a desperate attempt was made on his life 
by one of his men, happily rendered unsuccessful by 
the prompt assistance of Mr. Seago. After this the 
mutinous spirit, which had so often broken out in the 
camp, died away. Awed at length by the firm, un- 
yielding front presented by the white men, the natives 
" caved in," and henceforth obedience and order were 
maintained among Kruboys and Brassmen. 

The most important town on the Gulbi-n-Gindi is 
Jega, a large trade centre, where converge " the main 
lines of commerce from the countries to the south, 
especially Nupe" and Yoruba." At Jega, a place 
which was full of interest for Mr. Thompson, he could 
only remain one day. On the following the camp 
again took the road, striking westward for Sokoto. 
It was now towards the close of the dry season, all 
surrounding nature showed every sign of long drought, 



342 MB. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 

and the barren land and the fierce sun rendered the 
march difficult and painful. The land was not entirely 
treeless, however — fan-palms, bas-bats, and dum-palms 
springing up here and there in the otherwise sterile 
waste. The aspect of the country was different, in 
many essentials, from that through which Mr. Thomp- 
son's journey had hitherto lain. No traces of civil 
war were anywhere manifest, no trackless forests, the 
home of wild beasts only, no malarious swamps and 
fever-haunted marshes. The earth, broken on every 
hand by furrow-marks, clearly showed that it was 
annually cultivated. Presently, too, numerous villages 
were met with, each containing some two or three 
thousand inhabitants. These hamlets were snugly 
enough built, the roofs of the huts being of a conical 
shape, the houses themselves being invariably shaded 
by trees. 

The road now presented a busy scene of traffic and 
general activity. Abundant signs of commerce met 
the travellers ; camels, donkeys, bullocks, and horses, 
all heavily laden, maintaining an endless stream along 
the highways. Filiani horsemen, looking very im- 
posing in their picturesque and voluminous dress, 
ambled past, followed by numerous attendants, some 
on horseback, some on foot. Bringing up the rear 
came the ladies of the harem, veiled to the eyes from 
the vulgar sight — a merciful provision for the European 
traveller, Mr. Thompson hints, for he is thus spared 



MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 345 

the sight of some very plain faces. The people who 
struck Mr. Thompson as the most picturesque of any 
which he met in the Soudan were the Tuareg of 
Asben, who, clad, if such a word could be applied to 
them, in a very wreck of tatters and rags, contrived 
to fold their dirty and squalid garments around them 
with a wonderful picturesqueness, and to group them- 
selves in graceful and artistic attitudes. 

The religious fervour of the races among which Mr. 
Thompson was now sojourning was manifest on every 
hand. Everywhere by the roadside " praying-places " 
were built — little niches facing Mecca-wards — where 
the faithful disciples of Mohammed might at any time 
worship their prophet. 

On May 21st the important city of Sokoto was 
approached. Here Mr. Thompson anticipated a cere- 
monious reception ; to be worthy of which he and 
Mr. Seago arrayed themselves in their most gorgeous 
attire. The leader of the expedition made himself 
gorgeous in a parti-coloured singlet of silk and wool, 
white ducks, canvas gaiters, and puggaree-enveloped 
helmet; while Mr. Seago was got up in pyjamas, white 
jacket, helmet and gaiters. What was the particular 
significance of the gaiters — an uncomfortable article 
in a warm climate — Mr. Thompson does not tell us, 
but they were probably donned with an eye to some 
possible effect on the native mind. 

At first the reception of the travellers at Sokoto 



346 MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 

was the reverse of what had been looked for; but this, 
they presently heard, was due to the circumstance that 
their guide had been procured from an enemy of the 
governor. Before long, Mr. Thompson and his com- 
panions were provided with an abundance of food, both 
cooked and uncooked, by the leading men of the city. 
On the day following his arrival at Sokoto, and 
while messengers were on their way to the sultan, 
Mr. Thompson employed the time in taking photo- 
graphs. He was thus drawn into an adventure, dis- 
agreeable in its details, and coming very near to being 
disastrous in its consequences. The traveller set up 
his camera in the market-place, then in the full tide 
of trade, with an uproar filling the air from some tens 
of thousands of bargaining and disputing traders. 
None of these people had ever seen a white man 
before, and when one came armed with so curious a 
looking instrument as a photographic camera, it is 
little to be wondered at that the crowd took fright at 
the phenomenon. The throng pressed closer and 
closer about Mr. Thompson ; cries arose which pres- 
ently swelled into a deafening shout, every moment 
growing angrier and more excited. The camera very 
nearly came to grief. The incensed and agitated mob 
pressed on ; the market stalls were knocked over, and 
their contents scattered on the ground. Sheep, goats, 
cattle, and camels, got loose, and rushing about among 
the crowd, made confusion thrice confounded ; and in 



MR THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 349 

the midst of this extraordinary scene of panic and 
uproar the white men, for a little, fared very badly. 
At last they succeeded in pushing their way through 
the throng and getting free of the market-place. 
The people had got it into their heads that the photo- 
graphic apparatus was an instrument of witchcraft, 
and that Mr. Thompson's intention was to exercise its 
powers upon them. 

On the following day the travellers presented 
themselves before the sultan Umuru Serki-n-Musulmia. 
Passing through a court and passage, they were escorted 
to a massively-built, flat-roofed edifice, in front of 
which stood an elevated throne of mud. Here sat, 
cross-legged and robed in a mantle broidered with 
gold thread, the sultan himself. Nothing of his face 
was visible except a pair of flashing eyes ; and so 
motionless did Umuru sit that he looked most like a 
figure of a Buddhist god. 

Elaborate salutations having passed between the 
sultan and the white men, followed by a series of 
endless interrogations on Umuru's part, they at last 
came to business, and Mr. Thompson detailed the 
object of his mission. First he thanked the sultan 
for the friendly spirit he had always displayed towards 
English traders on the river, and begged to present 
a small token of their appreciation of the monarch's 
kindness. The Englishmen were desirous of entering 
into a treaty with Umuru, whereby the relations be- 



350 MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 

tween the two might be placed upon a proper footing 
and strengthened by every means possible. In this way 
great commercial and other advantages would accrue, 
not only to the English traders, but in an equal degree 
to the sultan. 

To all Mr. Thompson's arguments Umuru listened 
with close attention and marked signs of approval ; 
greatly, of course, to the satisfaction of the former. 
At the conclusion of the white man's speech the 
sultan expressed himself delighted at the idea of being 
brought into closer communication with England and 
Englishmen ; and at this point Mr. Thompson deemed 
it politic to clinch matters by displaying the presents 
he had brought for the negro monarch's acceptance. 
These were accordingly brought on the evening of the 
same day, and proved to be of the most varied and gor- 
geous description. At first Umuru affected to contem- 
plate the white men's gift with a dignified calm; but this 
presently broke down utterly as the magnificence of 
the present — costly beyond his utmost expectation — 
became fully realized. Beautiful fabrics in satin, 
silk, and velvet, gorgeous embroideries, rugs, silver- 
mounted fire-arms, silver cups, etc., and all of the 
finest workmanship, were displayed before his delighted 
eyes; and lastly, a wonderful silk umbrella, of the largest 
dimensions and deeply fringed with gold cord, took com- 
plete possession of the royal heart, and Umuru gave vent 
to the liveliest expressions of his surprise and pleasure. 



MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 351 

On the following day Mr. Thompson presented the 
treaty with which he was charged to the sultan, for 
his consideration and approval. This document showed 
forth how " concessions and grants must be made on 
the one hand, if wealth and increased influence and 
power were to be secured on the other." Umuru 
considered all the proposals contained in the treaty 
with more than readiness, and finally signed the 
document with alacrity. Mr. Thompson's enterprise 
was thus brought to a successful termination with a 
greater degree of ease and expedition than he had 
ever allowed himself to hope. Handsome presents 
were made to the chief men belonging to the sultan's 
court, and Mr. Thompson left Sokoto for Gandu to 
negotiate a second treaty there. 

While sojourning in the Central Soudan, Mr. Thomp- 
son found leisure in the midst of his commercial 
negotiations to note the many novel and curious 
sights that hourly presented themselves before him. 
All these were of an exceedingly interesting character, 
the " negro empires of the Soudan being so unique and 
remarkable in their various characteristics that one is 
kept in a continual state of surprise, not less by what 
is indigenous than by what is foreign and imported 
from North Africa." 

Mr. Thompson was, as has been indicated, the agent 
of the African Company during the expedition which 



352 MB. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 

we have just sketched. It will therefore be germane 
to our subject if we give here a brief summary of the 
work and aims of the African Company, or, as it is 
now called, the " National African Company." 

In 1829 the course of the Lower Niger had been 
followed into the Gulf of Guinea, and in that year 
it seemed as if a new history awaited the Central 
Soudan, which had up to this date been barred to 
European mercantile enterprise. But for thirty years 
all attempts to establish commercial relations with 
this region proved fruitless. Life and money were 
freely spent in the enterprise, in every case with dis- 
astrous results. Then the British Government with- 
drew all official help in the matter, and the adven- 
ture fell into private hands. One firm after another 
planted trading depots along the Niger, and the 
pioneer work was carried on by various leaders, not- 
able among whom was Mr. James Croft, once known 
as the " Father of the Niger." Nevertheless security 
of life and property was not as yet assured, and it 
was felt by all interested in the enterprise that some 
kind of political organization was needed to secure this. 

In the days antecedent to the establishment of the 
private trading stations above referred to, all the 
region of Central Africa with which we are dealing 
was the arena of continual inter-tribal warfare and 
slave raids ; and when to this is added the circumstance 
that the various British firms were brought into fre- 



MR, THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 353 

quent rivalry, and that there was the want of anything 
like unity of action among the white traders, it can 
easily be understood how progress was slow and un- 
satisfactory. But in 1879 all the British interests on 
the Niger joined their forces, and the "United African 
Company " was the result. One leading feature in 
the plan of action of the new company was the en- 
deavour to unite the numerous heterogeneous tribes 
into one compact whole. It was resolved at the 
same time that the company should interfere as little 
as possible with the merely internal affairs of each 
separate tribe. The company proved successful both 
in a political and in a financial view. Its objects 
were political and commercial development, the former 
as a means to the latter ; the endeavour to effect this 
development by the agency of a single company, so as 
to avoid intrigue and rivalry ; and to bring the empires 
of Gandu and Sokoto into immediate relations with 
the company, and thus in time include the territories 
of the Tchad basin within the company's operations. 

In 1882 the British Government granted the com- 
pany a royal charter, and its name now became the 
" National African Company." The enterprise re- 
ceived a marked stimulus from the grant of the char- 
ter — new steamers and launches were built, new depots 
established, while small stations became large and im- 
portant ones. Thus the company prospered, until two 
French houses took up the ground, and entered into 

(94) 23 



354 MR, THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 

rivalry with it. Had their opponents confined them- 
selves to purely commercial work, the African Com- 
pany could have had no reason for complaint. But 
this the French houses did not do. They used every 
endeavour to secure political influence over the native 
princes ; and a scheme was set on foot, under the 
auspices of M. Gambetta, for welding Tunis, Algeria, 
Senegal, the Central Soudan, and the Lower Niger 
into a Franco- African empire. The idea was a suf- 
ficiently comprehensive one, and whatever its practical 
results might have been, it would have effected this at 
least — namely, the death-blow of the National African 
Company. The French operations on the Niger con- 
tinued to develop, and had now to be met by greatly 
increased activity, and a large outlay of money on the 
part of the company. It was clear that the two rival 
parties could not exist side by side, and the African 
Company was resolved that it should not be the one 
to go to the wall. This region was indebted in every 
way to British enterprise and British money, and no 
one can wonder at the position which the company 
took up in the circumstances. The struggle was a 
sharp one, but in the end the older company was left 
master of the situation. One of the two French 
houses disappeared from the scene, while the other 
became absorbed in the English company. But now a 
new danger arose for the African Company. Germany 
conceived the idea of colonization, for the first time in 



MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 355 

her history. At this time there existed in Germany 
a feeling strongly antagonistic to England, and it was 
probably altogether congenial to the nation that it 
should endeavour to press forward colonizing opera- 
tions in Africa. Into the fresh struggle which thus 
arose the African Company threw itself with great 
vigour, despatching Mr. Thompson as its envoy to the 
Niger, as has been described in these pages. Mr. 
Thompson was successful in concluding treaties with 
no less than two hundred and thirty -five native chiefs, 
as well as with the Mohammedan empires of Gandu 
and Sokoto. 

The National African Company has been able to 
maintain, with little or no loss of life by violence 
and small loss of property, from fifty to one hundred 
establishments, scattered among dense populations 
which now engage in amicable barter with the com- 
pany, where they would have once thought nothing 
of resorting to force. This is in itself a very notable 
achievement. Out of very rude and barbarous ma- 
terial the company has formed a fairly peaceful and 
orderly state ; and this not by force of arms, but by 
the legitimate arts of commerce. That it has gained 
the confidence of the native races is sufficiently indi- 
cated by the fact that they have continually referred 
their inter-tribal disputes to the judication of the com- 
pany, and that the native princes have been found 
ready to surrender their sovereign powers to the com- 



356 MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 

pany. A large majority of the chiefs have now, 
through their relations with the company, the ambi- 
tion of honestly earning their own livelihood, instead 
of engaging, as formerly, in unrestricted plunder, war, 
and slave-raids. Thus has commercial enterprise been 
used as a distinctly civilizing agent among the peoples 
of the Niger. 

Here our " Story of the Niger " ends. We have 
traced for you, kind reader, the history of the great 
river from the days before Park down to the present 
moment : we followed that great pioneer of travel in 
Central Africa through the various stages of his 
memorable journey ; and we have accompanied Clap- 
perton and the Landers on their adventurous and 
notable expeditions ; we have noted what valuable 
additions to our knowledge of the mighty river 
Barth's explorations yielded ; we have gone with 
Captain Gallieni in his spirited mission ; and with Mr. 
Joseph Thompson's interesting and successful journey 
the record in the meantime closes. Other travellers 
will doubtless follow Mr. Thompson, and in a few 
years' time a new Story of the Niger may have to be 
told. But it must necessarily be a story of a different 
kind from that which has been given in these pages — 
that is, it must become less and less a story of adven- 
ture and peril, and toil and death, and more and more 
a record of commercial enterprise and the spread of 



MR. THOMPSON ON THE NIGER. 357 

civilization. Every year the Niger is becoming less 
and less the great river of mystery and darkness 
which it was to the early explorers. The days of 
Park and Clapperton and the Landers can never return, 
as far as the Niger is concerned. This is a loss to the 
adventurer and the sportsman — to all those who in 
past times have regarded the Niger as a happy hunt- 
ing-ground and a prolific birthplace of surprising 
adventures — but to the world at large, let us hope, a 
gain. We close with the earnest hope that the 
ascendency and authority, the power and the prestige, 
which England has secured on the Niger, may be 
exercised to all wise and just issues ; that our com- 
mercial dealings with these poor, semi - barbarous 
peoples of Western and Central Africa, while stimulat- 
ing and extending British industry and merchant 
enterprise, may be marked by no policy, by no single 
act, that shall leave a stain upon our name and 
honour. 



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extra. Price 2s. 

A beautiful volume, containing a mass 
of information and description regarding 
the ancient cave-temples of Egypt and 
Hindostan, the grottoes and caverns of 
Greece and Italy, and the catacombs of 
Rome and Paris. With many illustra- 
tions from drawings or photographs. 



The French in Indo-China. With 
33 Engravings. Post 8vo, cloth 
extra. Price 2s. 

A narrative of Garnier's explorations 
and adventures in Cochin-China, Cam- 
bodia, Laos, and Siam, with a history of 
the origin of the French colony in Cochin- 
China, and an account of the events 
which resulted in the recent difficulties 
between China and France. 

Gibraltar and its Sieges. With 
a Description of its Natural Fea- 
tures. 18 Engravings. Post 8vo, 
cloth extra. Price 2s. 

A new account of the great Rock-Foi - 
tress, carefully prepared and illustrated. 
The celebrated work by Colonel Drink- 
water, on the siege in 1782, is largely 
made use of, and several of his plates are 
given in facsimile on a reduced scale. 

In the Forest ; or, Pictures of 
Life and Scenery in the Wilds of 
Canada. By Mrs. Traill, Au- 
thor of "Lost in the Backwoods," 
etc. With numerous Illustra- 
tions. Post 8vo, cloth extra. 2s. 
Contains much pleasant information, 
and many interesting anecdotes regarding 
the plants and animals of Canada, and 
some lively details of Indian life. 

Round the World. A Story of 
Travel compiled from the Narra- 
tive of Ida Pfeiffer. By D. 
Murray Smith. 36 Engravings. 
Post 8vo, cloth extra. Price 2s. 

Madame Pfeiffer' s great powers of ob- 
servation enabled her well to describe all 
that was striking and pleasing connected 
with the people and countries through 
which she passed. 

Madame Ida Pfeiffer. The Story 
of Ida Pfeiffer, and Her Travels 
in Many Lands. 25 Engravings. 
Post 8vo, cloth extra. Price 2s. 

A new biography of this remarkable 
lady, the boldest of female travellers, 
who, with daring such as no woman had 
ever shown before, ventured alone into 
savage lands, studying the manners and 
customs of their inhabitant. 



T. NELSON AND SONS, LONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK. 



Travel and Adventure. 



Jack Hooper. His Adventures at 
Sea and in South Africa. By 
Verney Lovett Cameron, C.B., 
D.C.L. , Commander Royal Navy; 
Author of "Across Africa," "Our 
Future Highway," etc. With 23 
Full-page Illustrations. Crown 
8vo, cloth extra, gilt edges. 5s. 
"Our author has the immense advan- 
tage over many writers of boys' stories 
that he describes wliat lie lias seen, and 
does not merely draw on his imagination 
and on books."— Scotsman. 

With Pack and Rifle in the Far 
South - West. Adventures in 
New Mexico, Arizona, and 
Central America. By Achilles 
Daunt, Author of "Frank Red- 
cliffe," " In the Land of the 
Moose, the Bear, and the Beaver," 
"The Three Trappers," etc. 
With 30 Illustrations. Crown 
8vo, cloth extra, gilt edges. 5s. 
A delightful book of travel and adven- 
ture, with much valuable information as 
to the geography and natural history of 
the wild American "Far West." 

The Eastern Archipelago. By 

the Author of " The Arctic 
World," "Recent Polar Voy- 
ages," etc. With 60 Engravings 
and a Map. Crown 8vo, cloth 
extra, gilt edges. Price 5s. 

A description of the scenery, animal 
and vegetable life, people, and physical 
wonders of the islands in the Eastern 
Seas. 

Early English Voyagers ; or, The 

Adventures and Discoveries of 
Drake, Cavendish, and Dampier. 
Numerous Illustrations. Crown 
8vo, cloth extra, gilt edges. 5s. 
The title of this work describes the con- 
tents. It is a handsome volume, which 
ivill be a valuable gift for young persons 
generally, and boys in particular. There 
are included many interesting illustra- 
tions and portraits of the three great 
voyagers. 



Our Sea Coast Heroes; or, Tales 
of Wreck and of Rescue by the 
Lifeboat and Rocket. By Achil- 
les Daunt, Author of ' ' Frank 
Redcliffe," " With Pack and 
Rifle in the Far South-West," etc. 
With numerous Illustrations. 
Post 8vo, cloth extra. 2s. 6d. 

The Forest, the Jungle, and the 
Prairie ; or, Tales of Adventure 
and Enterprise in Pursuit of Wild 
Animals. With numerous En- 
gravings. Post 8vo, cloth extra. 
Price 2s. 6d. 

A party of weather-bound schoolboys 
are here supposed to relate in turn the 
stories that form the book. They are full 
of romantic adventure and deeds of dar- 
ing ; but at the same time they are true, 
and cannot be read without imparting 
valuable information on natural history. 

Scenes with the Hunter and the 
Trapper in Many Lands. Stories 
of Adventures with Wild Ani- 
mals. With Engravings. Post 
8vo, cloth extra. Price 2s. 6d. 

A party of school-boys spend some of 
their half-holidays in relating to one 
another stories of adventure in search of 
wild animals. These stories, though often 
full of romantic and stirring incidents, 
are all true. They cannot fail to be 
attractive to young readers. 

The Swiss Family Robinson ; or, 

Adventures of a Father and his 
Four Sons on a Desolate Island. 
Illustrated. Post 8vo, cloth ex- 
tra. Price 2s. 6d. 

A cheap edition of this well-known 
work. As the title suggests, its character 
is somewhat similar to that of the famous 
"Robinson Crusoe." It combines, in a 
high degree, the two desirable qualities in 
a book, — instruction and amusement. 

Sandford and Merton. A Book 
for the Young. By Thomas Day. 
Illustrated. Post 8vo, cloth ex- 
tra. Price 2s. 6d. 



T. NELSON AND SONS, LONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK. 



R. M. Ballantyne's Books for Boys. 



The Coral Island. A Tale of the 
Pacific. With Illustrations. Post 
8vo, cloth extra. Price 3s. 6d. 

The Young Fur - Traders ; or, 

Snowflakes and Sunbeams from 
the Far North. With Illustra- 
tions. Post 8vo, cloth extra. 
Price 3s. 6d. 

The World of Ice. Adventures 
in the Polar Regions. With Il- 
lustrations. Post 8vo, cloth ex- 
tra. Price 3s. 6d. 

The Gorilla Hunters. A Tale of 
the Wilds of Africa. With Il- 
lustrations. Post 8vo, cloth ex- 
tra. Price 3s. 6d. 

Martin Rattler. A Boy's Adven- 
tures in the Forests of Brazil. 
With Illustrations. Post 8vo, 
cloth extra. Price 3s. 6d. 

Ungava. A Tale of Esquimau 
Land. With Illustrations. Post 
8vo, cloth extra. Price 3s. 6d. 



The Dog Crusoe and his Master. 
A Story of Adventure on the 
Western Prairies. With Illus- 
trations. Post 8vo, cloth extra. 
Price 3s. 6d. 

These seven lively and interesting nar- 
ratives by R. M. Ballantyne form a com- 
plete repertory of good reading for young 
people. They give a vivid and pictur- 
esque description of various climes, and 
depict strange adventures in many 
lands. 

Hudson Bay ; or, Everyday Life 
in the Wilds of North America, 
during a Six Years' Residence in 
the Territories of the Hon. Hud- 
son Bay Company. By R. M. 
Ballantyne. With 29 Illustra- 
tions drawn by Bayard and other 
Artists, from Sketches by the 
Author. Post 8vo, cloth extra. 
Price 3s. 6d. 

In this volume much useful informa- 
tion is communicated, in the most fasci- 
nating narrative style, about everyday 
life in the wilds of North Ainerica. 



W. H. G. Kingston's Books for Boys. 



Afar in the Forest. With 41 
Full-page Engravings. Post 8vo, 
cloth extra. Price 3s. 6d. 

A tale of settler life in North America, 
full of stirring adventure. 

In New Granada ; or, Heroes 
and Patriots. With 36 Full-page 
Engravings. Post 8vo, cloth ex- 
tra. Price 3s. 6d. 

A narrative of some of the episodes of 
the desperate struggle of which the present 
Republic of New Granada was the scene, 
before its people were able to establish 
their independence of Spain. Descrip- 
tions of the scenery, products, and social 
customs of the country are intermixed 
with the stonj. 



In the Rocky Mountains. A Tale 
of Adventure. With 41 Engrav- 
ings. Post 8vo, cloth extra. 
Price 3s. 6d. 

A narrative of adventure in the Far 
West. Especially adapted to the taste 
and delectation of youth, with numerous 
incidents of travel and amusing stories, 
told in afresh and invigorating style. 

Kingston's Western World. Pic- 
turesque Sketches of Nature and 
Natural History in Northern and 
Central America. With 86 En- 
gravings. By W. H. G. King- 
ston. Crown Svo, cloth extra. 
Price 4s. 



T. NELSON AND SONS, LONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK. 



W. H. Gr. Kingston's Books for Boys. 



In the Eastern Seas; or, The 

Regions of the Bird of Paradise. 
A Tale for Boys. With 111 
Illustrations. Crown 8vo, gilt 
Price 6s. 



A tale of voyage and adventure among 
the islands of the Malay Archipelago, 
with descriptions of scenery and objects 
of natural history. 

In the Wilds of Africa. With 
upwards of 70 Illustrations. 
Crown 8vo, gilt edges. Price 6s. 
An interesting account of adventures 
by a shipwrecked party who are landed 
on the west coast of Africa, and make 
their way to the south through many 
dangers. 

On the Banks of the Amazon ; or, 
A Boy's Journal of his Adventures 
in the Tropical Wilds of South 
America. Profusely Illustrated. 
Crown 8vo, gilt edges. Price 6s. 
In tlte course of the narrative some of 
the numberless animals, as well as a few 
of the most interesting of the vegetable 
productions, of the Amazonian Valley 
are described. 

Saved from the Sea ; or, The Loss 
of the Viper, and the Adventures 
of her Crew in the Great Sahara. 
With 30 Full-page Engravings. 
Crown 8vo, gilt edges. Price 5s. 
A young sailor's account of his ovm 
adventures, along with three shipwrecked 
comrades. 

The South Sea Whaler. A Story 
of the Loss of the Champion, and 
the Adventures of her Crew. 
With upwards of 30 Engravings. 
Crown 8vo, gilt edges. Price 5s. 
A tale of mutiny and shipwreck in the 
South Seas, the captain having his son 
and daughter on board with him. 

In the Wilds of Florida. With 
37 Engravings. Crown 8vo, gilt 
edges. Price 5s. 

A tale of warfare and hunting 



Twice Lost. With Thirty -six 
Engravings. Crown 8vo, gilt 
edges. Price 5s. 

A young sailor's story of shipivreck, 
and perilous adventures in the wilds oj 
Australia. 

A Voyage Round the World. 
A Tale for Boys. With 42 En- 
gravings. Crown 8vo, gilt edges. 
Price 5s. 

A young sailor's account of his own 
adventures by sea and land, the scenes 
being laid chiefly in South America, the 
South Sea Islands, and Japan. 

Old Jack. A Sea Tale. With 
66 Engravings. Crown 8vo, gilt 
edges. Price 5s. 

An old sailor's account of his own ad- 
ventures, during times of peace and of 
war, in many parts of the world. 

The Wanderers ; or Adventures 
in the Wilds of Trinidad and up 
the Orinoco. With 30 Full-page 
Engravings. Crown 8vo, gilt 
edges. Price 5s. 

A Pennsylvanian merchant sets out 
with his family to South America, and 
meets with many adventures by sea and 
land, which are related by his son. 

The Young- Llanero. A Story of 
War and Wild Life in Venezuela. 
With 44 Engravings. Crown 
8vo, gilt edges. Price 5s. 

A thrilling and fascinating narrative 
of adventures in South America. 

The Young Rajah. A Story of 
Indian Life and Adventure. With 
upwards of 40 Full-page Engrav- 
ings. Crown 8vo, gilt edges. 5s. 
A story of the Indian Mutiny; the 
hero a young Indian prince, who had 
received an English education and be- 
come a Christian. 

My First Voyage to Southern 

Seas. With 52 Engravings. 

Crown 8vo, gilt edges. Price 5s. 

A young sailor's story, describing Cape 

Colony, Ceylon, Aden, etc. 



T. NELSON AND SONS, LONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK. 



Works on Nature and Natural History. 



Chips from the Earth's Crust ; 
or, Short Studies in Natural 
Science. By John Gibson, Natu- 
ral History Department, Edin- 
burgh Museum of Science and 
Art ; Author of ' ' Science Glean- 
ings in Many Fields," etc. With 
29 Illustrations. Post 8vo, cloth 
extra. Price 2s. 6d. 

" A popular account of the Earth's sur- 
face and formation, such as may interest 
and instruct boys of an inquiring habit 
of mind. It comprises chapters on earth- 
quakes, ineteors, tornadoes, and other 
phenomena." — Saturday Review. 

Science Gleanings in Many 
Fields. By John Gibson, Natu- 
ral History Department, Edin- 
burgh Museum of Science and 
Art. With 18 Illustrations. Post 
8vo, cloth extra. Price 2s. 6d. 

The reader will find "Science Glean- 
ings " rich in information regarding such 
interesting topics as animal intelligence, 
animal mimicry, the weapons of animals, 
their partnerships, and their migrations. 
Much information is also given regard- 
ing food fishes and about animals with 
which, whether as friends or foes, man 
has more especially to do. Glimpses of 
the past life of the globe are obtained in 
the essays on the mammoth, the great 
auk, and other extinct animals. 

Monsters of the Sea, Legendary 
and Authentic. By John Gibson, 
Natural History Department, 
Edinburgh Museum of Science 
and Art, Author of "Science 
Gleanings in Many Fields," etc. 
With 16 Illustrations. Foolscap 
8vo, cloth extra. Price Is. 6d. 

" An instructive as well as interesting 
little book, giving an account, not only 
of genuine sea monsters and the huge 
snakes of Brazilian rivers, but also of 
real or fabled appearances of the great 
sea-serpent that has yet to be caught." — 
Scotsman. 



In the Polar Regions ; or, Nature 
and Natural Histoiw in the Frozen 
Zones. With Anecdotes and 
Stories of Adventure and Travel. 
4G Illustrations. Post 8vo, cloth 
extra. Price 2s. 6d. 

In the Tropical Regions ; or, 
Nature and Natural History in 
the Torrid Zone. With Anec- 
dotes and Stories of Adventure 
and Travel. 78 Illustrations. 
Post 8vo, cloth extra. 2s. 6d. 

In the Temperate Regions ; or, 

Nature and Natural History in 
the Temperate Zones. WitI) 
Anecdotes and Stories of Adven- 
ture and Travel. 72 Illustrations. 
Post 8vo, cloth extra. 2s. 6d. 

"In the Polar," "In the Tropical," 
and "In the Temperate Regions," are 
three companion volumes, though each is 
complete in itself. The full title suggests 
the character of the books. They are re- 
plete with information on the animal and 
vegetable life of the countries described, 
and abound in illustrations in elucida- 
tion of the text. Good books either for 
school or hxyme libraries. 

Gaussen's World's Birthday. Il- 
lustrated. Foolscap 8vo. 2s. 6d. 

Lectures delivered to an audience of 
young people, in Geneva, on the first 
chapter of Genesis. The discoveries of 
astronomical and geological science are 
. simply explained, and harmonized with 
the statements of Scripture. 

Nature's Wonders ; or, How God's 
Works Praise Him. By the Rev. 
Richard Newton, D.D. With 
53 Engravings. Post 8vo. 2s. 6d. 

Addresses to young persons, on various 
subjects of science and natural history, 
to show "how God's works praise him." 
With illustrative anecdotes and engrav- 
ings. 



T. NELSON AND SONS, LONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK. 



Works on Nature and Natural History. 



The Homes of the Birds. By 

M. K. M., Author of " The Birds 
We See," etc. With 65 Illustra- 
tions by Giacomelli. Post 8vo, 
cloth extra. Price 2s. 

A charming book of natural history, 
written in a very attractive style, and 
illustrated by beautiful engravings. 

Jenny and the Insects ; or, Little 
Toilers and their Industries. 
With 26 Illustrations by Giaco- 
melli. Post 8vo, cloth extra. 
Price 2s. 

The insects are represented as telling 
their several histories. Any child, after 
reading this book, will hardly be able to 
pass even a spider without being reminded 
that the smallest insects have each and 
oil their allotted tasks to perform. 

Things in the Forest. By Mary 
and Elizabeth Kirby. With 
Coloured Frontispiece and Fifty 
Illustrations. Royal 18mo. Is. 6d. 

A book about birds ; well calculated to 
encourage a taste for the study of the 
natural history of the feathered tribes. 

Sea-Birds and the Lessons of 
their Lives. By Mrs. Surr, 
Author of "Good out of Evil." 
With 24 Illustrations by Gia- 
comelli and other Artists. Post 
8vo. Price Is. 

Very pleasantly does the author de- 
scribe the birds and their habits, and 
gossip about them for the entertainment 
and instruction of the young. 
Nature's Wonders. Pictures of 
Remarkable Scenes in Foreign 
Lands. With Coloured Frontis- 
piece and numerous Engravings. 
Royal 18mo. Price Is. 

An admirable book for the school lib- 
rary or a school reward. The informa- 
tion given is full of interest, and of just 
the kind to make an intelligent lad anx- 
ious to pursue the study further. 

What Shall We Talk About? 
A Book for the Young. With 34 
Illustrations. Post 8vo, cloth 
extra. Price 2s. 6d. 



Scenes of Wonder in Many 
Lands. Being Descriptions of 
Rapids, Cascades, Waterfalls, etc. 
With Coloured Frontispiece and 
numerous Engravings. Royal 
18mo. Price Is. 

The natural wonders here described 
possess imposing or striking features, 
which cannot fail to make them of in- 
terest to the young reader, and to foster 
in him a love of reading of a kind that 
will add to his store of knowledge. 

Wonders of Creation.— Vol- 
canoes and their Phenomena. 
With Coloured Frontispiece and 
numerous Engravings. Royal 
18mo. Price Is. 

The descriptions of the facts and pheno- 
mena connected with volcanic agency are 
brought xoithin the comprehension of 
young minds. 

Wonders of the Vegetable 
World. With Coloured Frontis- 
piece and numerous Engravings. 
Royal 18mo. Price Is. 

A volume containing a large amount 
of interesting information regarding some 
of the more wonderful among the trees 
and plants of the world. The descrip- 
tions are clear and free from scientific 
technicalities, and each subject is further 
illustrated by well-executed pictures. 
The Stars, including an Account 
of Nebulce, Comets, and Meteors. 
With 50 Engravings. Royal 
18mo. Price Is. 6d. 

A small volume containing a large 
amount of information, written with a 
view to serve as" a popular guide to a 
knowledge of the Stars and the Sidereal 
World." Scientific details are relieved 
by references to Greek mythology, and 
poetical quotations. 

The Sun, Moon, and Planets. 

Their Physical Character, Appear- 
ance, and Phenomena. With 46 
Engravings. Royal 18mo. Is. 6d. 
A companion volume to the preceding 
one, written and illustrated in the same 
style, regarding the wonders of our own 
solar system. 



T. NELSON AND SONS, LONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK. 



Tales for the Young. 



Alda's Leap, and Other Stories. 
By the Hon. Mrs. Greene. 
Foolscap 8vo, cloth extra. Is. 

" The young reader will find a great 
deal to delight him. The stories are 
pretty and well told, and they deserve 
praise." — Scotsman. 

The Babe i' the Mill, and Zanina 
the Flower -Girl of Florence. 
By the Hon. Mrs. Greene. 
Foolscap 8vo, cloth extra. Is. 

" The stories are strikingly original, 
and have peculiar quaintness and fresh- 
ness of incident and dialogue." — Dublin 
Mail. 

The Adopted Brothers ; or, Blessed 
are the Peacemakers. By M. E. 
Clements, Author of "The Story 
of the Beacon Fire," etc. Large 
foolscap 8vo, cloth extra. Is. 

A healthy story of two boys. How one 
by fostering jealousy in his heart brings 
much misery upon himself and un- 
happiness to his parents. A severe 
lesson clears away the mist, and the 
story ends in sunshine. 

Annals of the Poor. Complete 
Edition, with Memoir of Legh 
Richmond. Royal 18mo. Is. 

A cheap edition of these well-known 
Christian narratives, which so faithfully 
portray true piety in humble life. 

The Babes in the Basket ; or, 
Daph and Her Charge. By the 
Author of "Timid Lucy," etc. 
With Coloured Frontispiece and 
numerous Engravings. Royal 
18mo. Price Is. 

The Basket of Flowers ; or, Piety 
and Truth Triumphant. Illus- 
trated. Royal 18mo. Price Is. 

A suitable story for a girl under 
tuxlve. It shows thrd right principles 
will sustain through greatest trials. Its 
incidents are interesting without being 
sensational. 



The Giants, and how to Fight 
them. By the Rev. Richard 
Newton, D.D. With Coloured 
Frontispiece and numerous En- 
gravings. Royal 18mo. Is. 

Dr. Newton possesses in the highest de- 
gree the art of interesting and instruct- 
ing the young. The giants he here treats 
of are Selfishness, Ill-temper, Intemper- 
ance, and the like. 

Godliness with Contentment is 
Great Gain. With Coloured 
Frontispiece. Royal 18mo. Is. 

A book for little boys and girls. 

The Harrington Girls ; or, Faith 
and Patience. By Sophy Wix- 
throp. With Coloured Frontis- 
piece. Royal 18mo. Price Is. 

On a very limited income three sisters 
manage to maintain a comfortable and 
cheerful home, and perform sundry 
charitable actions which meet with their 
due reward. 

Hope On ; or, The House that 
Jack Built. With Coloured 
Frontispiece and 25 Engravings. 
Royal 18mo. Price Is. 

The story of two orphans, forsaken and 
destitute in a great city : how God helped 
them, and how they helped others in the 
end. 

The Story of the Lost Emerald ; 
or, Overcome Evil with Good. 
By Mrs. Emma Marshall, Au- 
thor of "Over the Down," etc. 
Large foolscap 8vo, cloth extra. 
Price Is. 

A very interesting story hangs round 
this title. All who would hear of the. 
valuable gem, of the various hands it 
passed through, and how it was alter- 
nately a curse and a blessing to its 
various possessors, should read this little 
volume. 



T. NELSON AND SONS. LONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK.